20 March 2019

Somalia: Hirshabelle Deputy President Denies Fleeing to Mogadishu

Hirshabelle Deputy President has denied earlier reports that he had fled the region for Mogadishu following rising of insecurity caused by troop withdrawals.

Instead, the leader said that he could not abandon his region in this time of crisis. He confirmed that so far the troops had withdrawn from three bases, with fears rising that Al-Shabab could take advantage of the security void to occupy the town.

SNA troop have vowed to take charge of security over salary arrears. The strike has alos exposed the under belly of the national government's inability to handle security matters, given that AMISOM troops have commenced gradual withdrawal

Burundi troops operating under AMISOM have their main base in Jowhar, the administrative capital of Hirshabelle State and in several Forward Operating Bases in the State.

The Hirshabelle President Mohamed Abdi Waare expressed concern that if hurriedly implemented, the troops' drawdown would leave his State vulnerable to attacks. He noted that there is still work to be done to ensure successful implementation of the Transition Plan.

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