President Farmaajo declares Somalia at war, purges security apparatus

President Mohamed Farmaajo walks out of the his office at Villa Somalia to address a media conference April 6, 2017. The president declared the country was in a state of war. Photo: Villa Somalia Handout
President Mohamed Farmaajo walks out of the his office at Villa Somalia to address a media conference April 6, 2017. The president declared the country was in a state of war. Photo: Villa Somalia Handout

We are in a state of war and I am calling on all Somalis to collaborate with us, President Farmaajo announced Thursday vowing to crash the militant group Al-Shabaab a day after a car bomb and mortar shells claimed six lives and injured 14 others.

In a terse statement which followed a major shakeup of the military, police and intelligence agency, President Farmaajo said persistent attacks were a threat to the survival of Somali people instructing all security agencies to swing into force to defend the country.

“These attacks have become routine. Therefore, I want to declare that the country is in state of war. This state of war won’t be one side, rather it will be two sided. And God will be with us,” said Farmaajo.

An explosives laden vehicle rammed into a restaurant opposite the Sports and Internal Security Headquarters in Shangani district, Mogadishu claiming six lives and injuring ten people. In the evening, several mortar shells landed at a residential near the Qatari embassy in Mogadishu injuring four people.

“I have instructed security agencies and military commands to get ready. We have instructed them to secure Mogadishu and regions of the country. And as you know today we made changes in commands of military, intelligence, and police. I also appeal Somali public to work with these agencies,” the President said.

In a security shake-up that saw the exit of heads of police, military and intelligence, President Farmaajo brought back former intelligence chief Mohamed Ali Sanbalooshe to head the intelligence agency, NISA. Former police chief Abdihakim Dahir who was sacked in July 2014 following Al-Shabaab attack at the presidential palace will also take back his position as the head of police replacing Mohamed Sheikh Ismail.

Ahmed Mohamed Irfiid will now head the military taking over from Maj. Gen. Mohamed Adan Ahmed who was appointed September 2015.

General Hussein Hassan Osman was appointed the head of custodial corps.

The president also relieved Mogadishu mayor Yusuf Jima’ale of his duties replacing him with Thabit Mohamed who is currently the deputy head of Somali mission in the US.

The President said he was extending amnesty to Al-Shabaab fighters to surrender noting they will be integrated back into the society.

 

 

 

 

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