Jun 20, 2019

Fresh fight inside Alshabaab risks mass defection

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The battle for clan supremacy within Alshabaab in Southern Somalia and especially the Gedo Region is growing more and more as Alshabaab commanders deploy underhand tactics against each other. Reports out of Gedo Region have now confirmed a growing enmity between two Alshabaab mid-level commanders only- known as Fillow and Kamaure, who hail from rival clans.

It has now emerged that Fillow-associated militants claimed responsibility for the early morning assault on a compound belonging to Sufi Muslim cleric Ali Elmi in the southern portion of Galkayo on Monday. According to United Nation Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the militants were in fact after Kamaure. Commander Kamaure is rumored to be on the run from Fillow after clan-fueled power struggles rocked the militant southern command leading to Kamaure’s flight northwards to Puntland. The attack on Ali Elmi was rumored to be a result of confusion due to the ‘physical similarities’ between the two people.

In the early afternoon, a car bomb was detonated at a busy market in Wadajir district of Mogadishu. Somali security forces have arrested two suspects.

Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and the head of the UN peacekeeping mission there (UNSOM), said no legitimate political agenda can be advanced through the indiscriminate killing of innocent children, women and men.

“The attacks on civilians in Mogadishu and Galkayo demonstrate the disregard of violent extremists for the sanctity of human life”, he said, adding that the UN “stands with the people and government of Somalia in their rejection of terrorism.”

Though Alshabaab has been largely forced-out of Mogadishu and other towns and cities, it continues to remain a potent threat, launching frequent and deadly attacks in the outskirts of the capital and elsewhere.

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