Opposition Militias Attack Mogadishu

On Sunday evening, militias loyal to Abdirahman Abdishakur, Hassan Khayre and Hassan Sheikh, members of the opposition, attacked government forces in Mogadishu. The attack happened in different locations.

Witnesses saw militias firing at the security forces using technicals with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and light weapons. Loud noises were also heard throughout the city.

The militias attacked from different sections of the city. One was led by Indha-Adde, an ex-Al-Shabab leader, who was hired by politicians opposing the Universal Suffrage Law as their security chief. Another was led by renegade ex-police chief Saqid Jon who was fired two weeks ago for insubordination and unruly behaviour.

A third militia was led by Ismail Danab, another renegade soldier who did jail time for corruption and illegal activities. He is close to Hassan Khayre, the former Prime Minister who was accused of sabotaging Direct elections and fired by the People’s Assembly.

It is not yet clear the casualties of today’s attacks in Mogadishu.

Confusing Claims

Abdirahman Abdishakur and Hassan Sheikh Mahamud, known to make incendiary and sometimes contradicting claims, posted on Facebook that their homes had been attacked by the Government Security forces but this couldn’t be verified independently.

Meanwhile, Security Minister Hassan Xundubey Jimale denied that government forces attacked former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The Minister said government forces have been protecting the former president since he stepped down in 2017. For that reason, he added it was impossible for troops to attack the house they’re protecting.

The Prime Minister addressed the nation

Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who recorded a video of the riots in Mogadishu, said he was saddened by the incidents.

Roble said the incident was an act of sabotage in the capital, although he did not blame anyone in particular, and called on the people and parties involved in the violence to maintain peace and leave the people alone.

The Prime Minister also instructed the national army and security agencies to fulfill their legal duty to protect the peace and security of citizens and prevent any security threats.

Roble said he believes that only through dialogue can the current issues be resolved, noting that the government’s efforts in the talks he has already initiated will be strengthened, and he is hopeful that all existing concerns will be met.

He also called on intellectuals, clerics, civil society, business people, women and youth to play their part in strengthening security and stability in the country, especially in the capital Mogadishu.

Calm in Mogadishu

The situation in Mogadishu today is calmer, but attacks by opposition militias yesterday have closed roads and created anxiety in the city.

Various city officials spoke about the fighting in Mogadishu, and also began efforts to defuse the tension as the warring parties agreed to a ceasefire.

Opposition forces remain in their strongholds and residents fear the consequences if opposition militiamen again disrupt peace in the city.

Omar Salad

Omar is an IT specialist based in Mogadishu.