Somalia President Shall Circumvent Impending Street Clashes in Mogadishu


Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud likes to talk about a controversial constitution that he has no capacity or legitimacy to write. He shall focus on and work tirelessly to circumvent impeding street clashes in Mogadishu that will benefit Al Shabaab. 

Al Shabaab has thrived and gained more power since Mohamud returned to Villa Somalia. The group freely operates in Mogadishu. 

Al Shabaab, which used to run courts out of tree shade on the outskirts of Mogadishu, is now doing the same inside Mogadishu. The group swapped running courts out of tree shade for air-conditioned rooms in high rises in districts like Hodan. 

In further outposts like Buseley near an area known as KM50, Al Shabaab recently overran with spectacular speed and destroyed poorly armed, equipped, and demoralized remnants of the Somalia National Army (SNA). SNA supplies have been diverted to Macawislay in Hiiraan, Middle Shabaab, and parts of Galgaduud and Mudug in late 2022 and early parts of 2023. 

Many Macawislay clan have switched loyalties, leading the charge against SNA in the above states. Some Macawislay have brought their weapons, including armor vehicles, to Mogadishu or near villages and towns. 

Heavy arms in the hands of clan militias resulted from weapons of entire SNA brigades in Hiiraan, Middle Shabelle, and parts of Galgaduud and Mudug directly being transferred to Macawislay. There is plenty of proof all around for this.

 In a recent interview, Gen.Hassan Mohamed Abukar (Hassan Jamici), the last Commander of the SNA 21st Division, which is Headquartered in Dhuusamareeb, attested that he had been made subservient to Macawislay leaders. Hassan Jamici confirmed that SNA supplies were diverted to Macawislay.

In the summer of 2022, I contacted a well-informed political operative in Dhuusamareeb and inquired about Mohamud’s declaration of a ‘total war’ on Al Shabaab. The insider succinctly concluded that the ‘total war’ lasted only three months. 

According to the insider in Dhuusamareeb, the effort ended when President Mohamed visited Hiiraan, Mudug, and Middle Shabelle to reinvigorate the war. Every clan brought out militia and weapons to show strength. 

In Hiiraan, clans showed case fighters armed with Rocket Propel Grenades (RPG) and Chinese manufactured belt fed Pulemot Kalashnikova Modernizirovannyi(PKM). These fighters carried their supplies, including food and ammunition, on the backs of camels. 

In Northeast Mudug, clans showed remnants of Somalia’s civil war weapons. Clans showed Anti-aircraft, including Soviet-era Z-23-2 with 23×152 mm shells mounted on the back of cargo hauling trucks, as well as 50 caliber machine guns mounted on the back of Toyota pickup trucks. 

Mohamud intended to illustrate strength and broad mobilization. But the dog and pony show had the exact opposite effect. 

According to the insider in Dhuusamareeb, Macawislay in Hiiraan felt let down. The beaming pictures show some men using Technical(s) as trucks with mounted guns, which are colloquially referred to among Somalis, while some men were ferrying supplies on the back of a camel, suggesting an imbalance of resource distribution among clans. Mohamud became a suspect, and Macawislay in Hiiraan started to back out of the fight against Al Shabaab. 

Mohamud continued with his tour of clan mobilization. He arrived at Middle Shabelle, a stronghold for his own sub-clan. Similarly, clans brought out weapons and militia to the open. 

Among the weapons shown as sub-clan equipment were armor vehicles donated by Turkey to the SNA Gorgor units. Macawislay in Hiiraan and Mudug were enraged. 

The primary complaint was that some men were being asked to fight Al Shabaab on supplies being ferried on the back of camels while some were using World War II-era weapons. But the president’s sub-clan had gotten their hands on the latest weapon donated by Turkey, a NATO member nation. 

According to the insider in Dhuusamareeb, it was at that moment that Mohamud’s deeply flawed strategy of clan mobilization crystallized. The rest, including over the two months Mohamud spent meeting sub-clans of sub-clans and individuals in Dhusamareeb, were throwing good intent after bad one. 

Many of the Macawislay in Hiiraan, Middle Shabelle, and parts of Mudug and Galgaduud chose to enter Mogadishu. Mohamud himself publicly complained about heavy weapons on the streets of Mogadishu.

Moreover, the heavily armed Macawislay are more likely to compete for street space with militia abandoned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the attack on General Gordon Camp. The militia UAE created militia under the banner of “Mogadishu Stabilization” hasn’t been paid for months now. 

UAE militia still have weapons inside the city. New roadblocks are enviable, and they are typically followed by clashes between various militias.

Mohamud is now wrapped around the axle of a constitution that he has no capacity or legitimacy to write. The country is fractured, so it has no capacity to undertake constitutional formation. Mohamud returned to power under cloud agronomy and widespread corruption, so the Somali public distrusted him.   

The impending militia clashes in the streets of Mogadishu will be the epitome of chaos. The ultimate beneficiary of more chaos in Mogadishu is Al Shabaab, which is currently operating in plain sight inside. Heavily armed militias clashing in the streets and momentum on the outskirts of Mogadishu might be the last jolt Al Shabaab needs to return to its heydays of contesting formal power in Mogadishu. 

Mohamud has the solemn responsibility of circumventing impending street clashes in Mogadishu. He should spend his remaining days in Villa Somalia striving for this goal instead of writing a controversial constitution that he does not have the capacity or legitimacy to write. 

Author is a Technology Entrepreneur and long time civic leader. Follow him @fuguni.

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