Colonel Saney Abdulle Injured In A Suicide Attack

Six days ago, Al-Shabab suicide bomber has attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base detonating his explosive-laden car killing ten soldiers and injuring several others, including Colonel Saney Abdulle.

The troops stationed in that base, located in the town of Biyo-Adde in the Middle Shabelle region, were under the command of the 27th Somali Military Command, and received assistance from troops in nearby camps.

The troops located in that base were part of a group that defected to hardline opposition members rejecting the April 25th the House of the People (Somali Parliament) vote to postpone the national elections by up to two years.

Those troops vacated their outpost fighting Al-Shabab and took violence to the street of Mogadishu in order to unseat the government. The unrest killed many civilians and displaced many others.

They were later convinced to return to their original bases on May 7, 2021 after an agreement was reached between the government and the hardline opposition leaders to reintegrate the deserters in the SNA without repercussion.

One of the officers injured in the Friday bombing blast in Biya-Adde was Colonel Saney Abdulle, the commander of the 4th Battalion and one of the main warlords who supported opponents of the parliamentarian vote on universal suffrage last April.

Colonel Abdulle was one of the first officers to heed the call of radical opposition to defect and lead his unit to desert their outpost and join other opposition militias from the same Hawiye clan in Mogadishu.

Saney Abdulle who hails from the same sub-clan as former president Sharif Ahmed has had a long history of unruly behaviour. He was a militiaman leader without any formal military training before he was elevated to “lieutenant colonel”.

He is known to be ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to threaten his superiors if they don’t follow through on his demands. His men have also been accused by the Somali Journalist Syndicate for mistreating reporters with impunity. His loyalty rests on his sub-clan and his battalion whose soldiers are exclusively from the same clan.

Col. Abdulle was flown to Turkey on Sunday afternoon in collaboration with members of his family, officials and close relatives in the Somali government.

The colonel, whose injuries were initially considered minor, had a swollen face 48 hours after the attack, and it was agreed that he would be taken out of the country.

Since his injury, there has been a concerted effort by government officials to take him to one of Mogadishu’s hospitals, while relatives have refused, and doctors have been brought to his home in Mogadishu’s Karan district.

Colonel Saney Abdulle’s injury has become a source of frustration for members of the Opposition who see him as the most powerful force in the war against Farmajo in April this year.

Many of his men believes the Al-Shabab truck that carried out passed the Gorgor forces outpost before it hit their base in Biya-Adde. They alleged Gorgor did not seize or shoot the car before it struck their outpost.

Abdulle’s men also complain that other SNA units, including Gorgor, no longer trust them and refuse to be housed at the same site or to participate jointly in military campaigns against Al-Shabab.

This latest development brought the fate of the defection of clan-affiliated army units back to the headlines.

Once past the political upheaval born of the electoral talks, the army officers who have defected will sooner or later have to reconsider their military careers as the suspicion of their low loyalty to the nation will haunt them.