Somali army chief replaced amidst stalled war against Al-Shabaab

In a surprise move, the Somali government has removed the commander of the country’s armed forces, General Odowaa Yusuf Rage, and appointed a new commander, Ibrahim Sheikh Muhyiddin.

This decision was communicated through a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office, which cited the approval of the proposal by the Ministry of Defense for the appointment of the new commander.

General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhyiddin brings a wealth of military experience to his new role, having previously served as the head of the presidential guard and presidential guard Koofia Casta during the previous term of office of President Hassan Sheikh. He has also held various other military positions, including the Commander of the 60th Brigade of the National Presidential Guard.

It is unclear why General Odowa, who had been the commander of the country’s armed forces since 2019, was removed from his position.

The government has been stating its intention to launch the second phase of the war against the group, but has not yet put this into action.

The replacement of General Odowa comes at a time when the war against Al-Shabaab is at a critical juncture, and the government’s efforts to combat the group have been hampered by a lack of progress and coordination. The situation has been further complicated by the recent sacking of Hiran regional governor Ali Osman Jeyte, who was also a key leader in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

The appointment of General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhyiddin as the new commander of the country’s armed forces is expected to bring fresh impetus to the war against Al-Shabaab, and to help to coordinate efforts across different regions and factions. However, it remains to be seen how effective this will be in practice, and whether the government’s efforts to combat the group will yield any significant results in the coming months.

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