President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud delivered fiery messages to his people, addressing the progress of the war on terrorism.
The Somali Presidency posted a video clip of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on its Facebook page, following the tactical withdrawal of the Somali army from strategic areas in the country’s center. This move disrupted the progress of combat operations against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The video contained messages of praise and boosted morale for the army, countering the terrorist propaganda claims made by Al-Shabaab about the army’s field conditions. The President also issued warnings to those he referred to as “traitors and officials who misuse their military positions.”
President Sheikh Mohamud addressed the army and the supporting People’s Defense Forces, saying, “You are true heroes and warriors. We have achieved brilliant success against the terrorists and liberated numerous areas (…) We must quickly return to our bases; you have no choice but to advance and progress.”
Regarding the attack on the town of Awdheegle that occurred last Saturday, the Somali President stated that the casualty figures for the army, as claimed by Al-Shabaab, were pure fabrication, lies, and baseless accusations. He explained that the terrorist group had resorted to using old videos to fabricate losses for the Somali Armed Forces.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud revealed that Al-Shabaab buried 190 of its fighters in mass graves and left its wounded fighters to die on the battlefield due to its inability to provide medical assistance for them.
He stated that “the Somali Armed Forces will soon reveal the mass graves of the victims of the terrorist organization when the Somali army reaches those areas.” He also acknowledged losses in the army’s ranks without disclosing details, describing them as natural battlefield losses rather than strategic losses or defeat.
He added, “The battle against terrorism is a noble goal worth sacrificing for, and there is no turning back until we achieve the desired historic victory against the renegades.” He emphasized that “it’s time to reward the heroes who have performed exceptionally during the operations.”
President Sheikh Mohamud dropped a bombshell by admitting the existence of traitors who misuse sovereign positions within the army, stating, “We will hold traitors and those who misuse military positions accountable.”
He also promised to hold accountable those responsible for sowing discord within the army and bring them to justice soon. He pointed out that the procedures have already begun, without revealing the nature of those actions or the individuals involved in this crisis.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stressed the accountability of those who have fallen short in errors that occur both in the field and administratively during the struggle against terrorism. He called on the Somali people to stand by the army and rally to defeat the terrorists.
This fiery speech comes at a crucial time in military operations, and it is anticipated that it will be followed by dismissals and trials within the army to improve the performance of military operations in the coming period.
Somali security analyst Abdulrahman Hashi said that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has achieved multiple objectives with one stone.
The security expert explained that the President’s speech countered terrorist propaganda, boosted morale, and included a commitment to improve the leadership of operations.
He said, “The Somali President’s announcement and Al-Shabaab’s admission of its elements in mass graves and the field execution of its wounded fighters strike a blow to the fighting strength of the organization. The President’s commitment to revealing those graves and initiating an investigation by the leadership of the armed forces in this matter leads to a psychological defeat for the terrorists.”
He added, “The President’s acknowledgment of the existence of traitors and exploiters within the army institution indicates an extremely dangerous situation. However, it is most likely that the President’s statements are aimed at course correction.”