Beledweyne Bombings: Who Is Behind?

On Wednesday evening, a suicide bomber blew himself at Lamagalay compound in Beledweyne killing MP Amina Mohamed Abdi and her security detail.

The MP was walking to meet Hirshabelle President Ali Gudlawe Hussein in the heavily guarded compound which houses government’s offices.

A second attack, this time with a car bomb, occurred just after the wounded from the first attack were transported to the local hospital, causing even more deaths.

According to President Gudlawe, there are 48 dead and 108 wounded. This figure could change in the coming hours. Among the victims of the attacks, there are politicians, local elders, soldiers, merchants and other civilians.

The attack was claimed by Al-Shabab insurgents. Suicides and car bombings targeting influential figures and state employees with no regard for civilian casualties are their hallmark.

These kinds of attacks, which are more frequent during major events, causes hundreds of victims each year.

Early reaction and baseless finger pointing

Upon news of the attacks, opposition politicians and other anti-government pundits quickly accused the president and his security advisor, Fahad Yasin, of being behind the attacks.

The Somali public, however, were shocked by their lack of compassion at a time when the nation was in mourning.

They were even intrigued by the attention that the opposition and foreign diplomats gave to a single individual among some fifty dead. Not to mention that a hundred are fighting for their lives and do not have the necessary care.

It’s unfortunate MP Amina lost her life though. She has served as a lawmaker for the past eight years and was known to be a fringe critic of the president and the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA).

The late MP, a Quranic teacher by profession, prominently defended Ikran Tahlil, a young NISA agent who disappeared last July. She was also a member of the opposition.

An investigation has been requested by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, his Minister of Internal Security Mohamed Abdullahi Nur and President Gudlawe.

However, it is unlikely that a Somali-style investigation will see the light of day, that the presumed culprits will ever be brought to justice or that recommendations will be offered as has been the case before.

Who will benefit from the MP’s death?

Some presidential candidates and other opponents want to smear the current President Farmajo whose growing popularity is seriously diminishing their chances at the polls.

The most vocal of them, presidential candidates Said Deni and Hassan Sheikh Mahamoud, came forward to accuse him of the murder.

However, the public was appalled at the use of this tragic event to settle political scores.

During his tenure, former Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamoud was accused of assassinating a dozen politicians who disagreed with him.

Some included lawmakers who were killed at the presidential palace compound of Villa Somalia. No investigation has ever been done.

Some opposition politicians entered the fray and directly accused Fahad Yasin. It is expected that Fahad will be the next vice-president of the Lower House.

Among these politicians is Abdirahman Abdishakur, a corrupt politician who in 2009 awarded the Somali Sea to Kenya.

There are also Mahad Salad and Ahmed Fiqi who together with Abdirahman Abdishakur led rebel militias to attack the presidential palace last April.

Roble’s possible involvement

Prime Minister Roble, appointed by Farmajo, also has everything to gain from his boss’ failure at the polls. Their divergence has deepened in recent months since Roble’s failed coup attempt last September.

Roble is now working against Farmajo in coordination with the opposition and foreign diplomats.

Prime Minister Roble is a malleable and dangerous. All his calculations revolve around preventing Farmajo’s re-election.

For this reason, he is doing everything, with the help of Jubaland strongman, to block the 16 seats of Garbaharey so that the swearing in of the elected MPs takes place.

Roble’s morbid hatred and his desperate attempts to invalidate the election of Fahad Yasin and prevent the re-election of Mr. Farmajo are valid reasons to attack the MP who was about to lose her seat.

Indeed, Amina was also at odds with her clan as she was going to run for another term as MP. She made enemies among the potential delegates of her clan as she went against their wishes for change.

She felt the tide turn and she had already blamed Villa Somalia for working against her re-election.

Whatever Roble says, it was he who was tasked by the President and Parliament on May 1, 2021 with managing election security.

Thus, any incident like the unclaimed attack in Bosaso aimed at undermining Minister Gamal Hassan’s campaign or this attack in Beledweyne are ultimately Roble’s responsibility.

Foreign connection

Kenya is also suspected of this string of attacks. This country hostile to the return of the president works tirelessly to prevent him from keeping his post for another four years.

It is no longer a secret that the Kenyan secret service operates throughout most of Somalia and is implicated in the alleged killings of AS.

Kenya and some opponents are working in coordination with agents of the Sahan criminal network, whose leader, Matt Bryden, is wanted by the Somali courts for espionage.

The Canadian war profiteer and his cronies in Somalia and Kenya have already embarked on a smear campaign and fake news on social networks.

Finally, American and European diplomats entrenched in Halane are accused of spearheading Somali instability since 2017.

After pushing Somali leaders to abandon universal suffrage in 2020, European Union representatives have publicly backed the opposition to President Farmajo in flagrant violation of their diplomatic credentials.

In this case, the EU Ambassador to Somalia, Estonian Tiina Intelmann, amplified the inflammatory statements of the opposition by calling Beledweyne’s suicide bombing a political assassination against MP Amina.

However, this has not gone unnoticed by Somali public opinion, which already suspected these Western diplomats of being involved in these latest attacks, which curiously increase when UN resolutions are prepared.

The terrorist attack at Halane’s Marina Gate that occurred yesterday morning was aimed at discrediting Somalia’s intended control over its security through the Security Transition Plan agreed with the African Union.

Not only did the Marina Gate attack fail, but it demonstrated the professionalism of the Somali security forces and the inability or perhaps culpable inaction of AMISOM to repel such an attack.

Since the end of 2020, Somalia has been marred by political instability and frustration over the mismanagement of these long-delayed elections, the incompetence of the Western-backed prime minister and accusations of embezzlement of public assets hanging over him.

AbdiQani Badar

AbdiQani Badar is a historian, political commentator and avid writer. He has written extensively on Somali issues and historical events.