The designated governor of the Hiiraan region, Abdullahi Ahmed Maalin Sufurow, announced the resumption of anti-al Shabab operations in the region on Monday. The move comes after the former governor Ali Jeyte Osman, reportedly elected as the interim President of the Hiiraan State administration, re-started operations in southern Beledweyne on Saturday.
During a press conference in Beledweyne, Sufurow stated that the federal government forces and local militia are continuing their efforts to combat al-Shabaab, and coming days, the troops will expand their operations to the East and West of the Hiiraan region to eradicate the group.
Governor Abdullahi Sufurow emphasized the significance of the mission, stating, “It is a sacred duty for all of us to liberate this region. Whether you are a member of the federal government forces or a resident, those who have died in this war have done so with honour and are our martyrs. We call upon the army to intensify their operations.”
Over the weekend, intense fighting broke out between Somali government forces, supported by local clan militia, and al-Shabab militants in the Bardhere area, located 22 km south of Beledweyne in the Hiiraan region. The fighting primarily occurred in Southern Beledweyne, particularly in the Tabantab and Mohamed Hassan villages.
The operations in Southern Beledweyne were led by the interim President of the Hiiraan State administration, Ali Jeyte Osman, along with two members of the Lower House of Parliament, Mohamed Abduqadir Mohamed and Mohamed Abdullahi Buralle. Additionally, Commander Mohamud Hassan Ibrahim Baakay of the 5th Battalion of the 27th Somali Army Division took part in the operations.
Governor Sufurow has not officially assumed office after he was appointed last month. However, Jeyte refused to step down and was reportedly elected by residents as the interim President of the Hiiraan State, an administration that the Federal government does not recognize.