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Published On: Thu, Apr 6th, 2017

Somalia new president declares country war zone, announces shakeup

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Araweelo News Network

President Farmajo wore a military uniform

Mogadishu(ANN)-Somalia’s new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared the country a war zone, instructing the military to prepare a new offensive against al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremists.

The president wore a military uniform as he declared a “new offensive against terrorist groups” on Thursday. He gave militants a 60-day deadline to lay down their arms and surrender.

The president also replaced military and intelligence chiefs, the country’s police chief and Mogadishu’s mayor in an attempt to improve the worsening security situation in the long-chaotic Horn of Africa nation.

Mohamed Ahmed Jimale was named the new chief of defense forces of the Somali National Army while Abdullahi Mohamed Ali was appointed as the national intelligence agency chief. General Abdihakim Said was also appointed as police chief.

The shakeup and the instruction for the high-scale offensive are seen as part of attempts by Mohamed to consolidate power.

The developments also come as the al-Shabab militant group has stepped up its deadly bombings in the capital since the new president took office in February.

In their latest assault, a car bomb blast in Mogadishu on Wednesday claimed lives of at least seven people.

The explosion occurred at lunchtime at a restaurant near the ministries of internal security and youth. No group claimed responsibility for the explosion. However, al-Shabab militants often carry out such attacks.

Al-Shabab has denounced the new president as an “apostate” and warned the Somalis against supporting him.

The Al-Shabab group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.

The extremist group is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital and other selected areas.

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 63 4764409 + 252 65 910 7347.

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