African Union Mission in Somalia Force Commander Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti (centre) walks with Djiboutian commanders during a tour of Beledweyne in the Hiran region. Somali and allied forces plan to take more towns in the region from al-Shabaab in the coming weeks. [Stuart Price/AU-UN IST/AFP]

Al-Shabaab’s leaders and foot soldiers are on the run after losing significant ground to the Somali National Army and allied forces in a series of recent battles, security officials say.

“We know that there is no place left in Somalia for the so-called radical al-Shabaab movement, whose leaders, members and followers must be expelled or even killed so security and stability prevails once again throughout the country,” Hiran Governor Abdifatah Hassan Afrah told Sabahi. “We have to extinguish the flame of violence that they spread in East African countries.”

Afrah called for operations targeting al-Shabaab’s leaders, whom he called “a cancerous growth in the body of the Somali people”. He said such operations would spread panic and frustration among al-Shabaab operatives who have been trying to find a foothold in the Golis mountains and in southern Yemen, where they are trying to join forces with al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia.

Commander of the First Battalion General Abdullahi Ali Anood said the Somali National Army, with backing from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), would take over the town of Bulo Burde in the Hiran region soon in an attempt to cut off access to the road that links Bulo Burde with the towns of El Bur in Galgudud, and Tayeglow in Bakol. This will hinder the flow of the group’s military supplies and trap al-Shabaab fighters in the central regions, disrupting their logistical support, he said.

Hundreds of Somali soldiers stationed in Hiran and Lower Shabelle will take part in this joint operation, Anood said. “We are preparing for a bloody battle against al-Shabaab to prevent it from rebuilding its infrastructure and regrouping, and [its fighters] will be unable to find a safe haven in which to hide,” he told Sabahi.

Al-Shabaab losing ground

Al-Shabaab still controls some areas in the Hiran region, but it has been losing strategic towns such as Beledweyne, the regional capital, which Somali and Ethiopian forces took over in December 2011 after forcing the militants out of Matabaan and surrounding villages.

Al-Shabaab’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu al-Zubair, has admitted publicly that his group’s fighters have been defeated in a series of recent battles in Somalia.

“This year comes as the crusade against Islamic rule in Somalia has been mounting and the crusader enemy has intensified its military, security, political and media capabilities to dim the light of sharia and defeat Islamic rule,” he said in an audio message released December 11th.

Godane said al-Shabaab would resort to guerrilla tactics after allied forces intensified their operations against the militants.

Nur Ahmed Dahir, an al-Shabaab defector, said some of his former colleagues told him that Godane has been concealing his identity by covering his face with a black scarf to blend in among his soldiers.

Godane reportedly carries a Kalashnikov rifle and dozens of hand grenades in a small bag, Dahir told Sabahi, and has been moving between mountains close to Dinsoor to other areas in the Hiran and Bakol regions.

“The group bans any questions relating to a jihadi’s nationality, name, family background or tribal affiliation to guard against spying, a charge that may lead to execution by firing squad or decapitation,” Dahir said. “That is why few soldiers in the group can identify their emir.”

Hiran Deputy Governor Mohamed Maalim Yusuf called for assassination operations against al-Shabaab’s leaders to thwart their terrorist plans. This would allow government forces to take control of several areas in the central and southern regions such as Hiran, Galgudud, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, Middle Jubba, Lower Jubba and Gedo, he said.

“It is not unlikely for terrorist leaders who have been moving between the towns of El Bur, Bulo Burde, Tayeglow and Dinsoor to be targeted,” he told Sabahi. “We will soon cut off the land road connecting these towns with the support of the Djiboutian forces and the Ugandan troops that are marching from Jowhar, capital of the Middle Shabelle region, and heading towards Bulo Burde.”

– Sabahi Online


  1. Wagala Masacre 5000 DEAD and still no justice for them!

    Wajir Masacre 3000 DEAD and still no justice for them!

    Kenyan claims of Somali Coastline in order to begin oil exploration!

    Kenyan Violation of Somali borders without the Knowledge of Somali Government!

    It is an occupation… and Kenyans will be paying a heavy price when they loose the peace the cherish in their own country by getting themselves heavy involved in Southern Somalia.

    • Wrong information, get fact before you comment.

      -There was only one incident not two.

      – That event happen in wajir not wagala, somali NFD don't live wagala it sound like oromo name.

      – There's no proof kenya claiming somali coastline, bring facts not fiction and if they do the matter will go UN.

      – Kenya is member of AMISOM they didn't violate somali borders but protecting own borders.

      – Mogadishu NGO goverment have no right to allow certain countries into somalia and some say no with hidding agenda. while kenya is member of IGAD and AMISOM. this sort of backward policy will not work.

      – It's not occupation, if that is the case whole of somalia is under occupation crazy man, including s/land region+Puntland directly or indirectly.

      – kenya will not pay heavy price it's protedting own territory, and also kenya have alot of freinds in somalia same as the Uganda, burindi, ethiopia. kenya case is no different.

      • Buuxiye,

        You writing sounds like you live among the Kenyans as a citizen or as a refugee. I hope you are able to reply to your Kikuyo friend here instead of keeping yourself busy with hating other Somalis and your little history of reunification. As far as I am concerned, it is sad day when we debate if Kikuyo is a foe or friend of Somalia.

        • LOL

          History Books will show 3 Major events in the Somali-Horn:

          1: Abdullahi Yusuf's invitation of Ethiopia into Somali soil when they occupy a Somali region.

          2: Sharif Hassan allowed Kenyan invation into Somali soil when they occupy a Somali region.

          3: Siilanyo Made sure Somaliland gain international recognition during his 1-term in office.

          🙂 Swallow that

    • ComeAgain need to fly to Disneyland with
      his imaginary Somaliland Passport !
      Fake country fake Passport !

      • It better the have a FREE and peaceful FAKE country then a Failed 4-Km country where the President a 20,000 Amisom troops que for the same toilet SEAT!!!

        Hi5 is alive in Moqadishu 🙂

  2. What a shame u can recognize somali soldier from Djibouti and their flag in the car army try to save zomalia people. How Walanweyn and faqash could still believe on BS somalinimo love, unity after that? Pitiful.

    • stupid hornid.

      There's no recognition for next 100,000,000 year put in your rusted head that. build your state and go forward clean up the garbages from Hargeisa streets, promote harmony instead of shooting innocent demostrators. today south is divided into two parts, south and deep south,but sometime they willing live side by side and share goverment. NO such thing call reunion understood

    • @Hornid…You see, ''walanweyn'' and ''faqash'' believe in Somalinimo because they never betrayed Somalia unlike you. Is no surprise to me to see ''Is@@q'' separatism like you. In Ahmed Gurey era, there were many ''Is@@q'' traitors like you who sided the British. Slowly but surely you (Is@@q's) are exposing yourself of being actually the traitors who betrayed Ahmed Gurey, the Sayyid Mohammed and many anti colonials.

      • Daroods are the biggest scum of all, i will never forget what you did to the people of mogadisho. Daroods got xabashi and told them to kill hawiye citizens. ugly traitors who should be destroyed

  3. The government of Somalia must compile a complete list of Al-shabab and its foot soldiers. You can not decimate the enemy of Somalia if you allow them shave their long beards, throw their dirty head towels, wear traditional Somali garb and melt among the populace.

    All Al-shabab leadership and their foreign Jihadists must be hunted down from every region and district and must be brought to justice; they spilled a lot of innocent Somali blood and the government must never entertain to negotiate with them.

    • Al-Shabab's New strategy of hit and run will never be totally defeated!

      They simply need to remain in hiding until Amisom departs to dig up there weapons once again.

  4. Folks, too much energy going on between Amisom and Alshabab remains to be seen which
    one goes out of the window. Then Amisom goes home and the Somalis would a new way to
    slaughter each other.

    • that's what you hoping to happen but ilaahey baanu kaa hoos galney with all the evil thought you have mr cheers what a shameful.

      • Sahra darling don't take my words too seriously, we are all under the mercy of mother nature
        powers lool. Sorry if I made you scared Sahra-tu'al-cayn lool. Don't mean to. Just give different
        ideas, that's all. peace and respects. Btw Sahra take care of that Khaatumo Citizen Thomson-cat.
        She's too dangerous to let her loose.lool.

  5. Truth1

    I would advise you to get your facts right, Ahmed Gurey era, and the British era, have nothng to do with each
    other, Ahmed Gurey era was in 1500s, and the British era was in the 1800s. If you are talking about the 1800s, you Daroods were the biggest sell outs, who left the Sayed in the lurch, which resulted in the Sayed wiping out the Dhulos. In Ahmed Gureys time, if you read your history, you will find that the Isaaq raised a large army to fight alongside him.

  6. In 1954 When the British negotiations were under way to decide on ending the British-Protectorate agreement there were two sided on the decision of who gets the HAWD-Reserve!

    Somalilanders including the dhulos+warsans on ONE side.

    Ethiopia including the oldest son of Sayid Mohamed abdal hassan on the OTHER side.

    British were convinced by the Somalis who sat with Haile Salasia to award the HAWD-Reserve to Ethiopia instead of Somaliland. British even entertained the possibility of Granting all Somali-5 regions a United status and the people that blocked that bid where those who live in NFD+Kilil and to this day they enjoy the choice of their FATHERS and their children will continue to enjoy that choice.