What is happening in Gedo?

14.3.2023: Garbahaarrey, Gedo

Today saw one of the most deadliest attacks in Gedo in recent years.

Witnesses say at least nine people, including five soldiers, were killed Tuesday when an explosives-laden car targeted a guest home in which senior Gedo officials were residing including the Governor of the region, Ahmed Buulle before the home was bombarded by artillery fire.

Amongst the injured included Abdirashid Janan, the former State Security Minister of Jubaland before his switch in allegiance to the Gedo regional administration which remains opposed to the Ahmed Madobe State Government in Kismayo – an administration accused of corruption and dictatorial behaviour with rigged elections.

Despite some reports that Al-Shabab has committed this attack, the group has not officially claimed this attack on their news websites, rather referring to the attack as an unknown assault on Gedo authorities in the region.

While Al-Shabab are not a reliable source for information, it is interesting to see that the group has not outright claimed full responsibility for the this attack raising important questions such as, who else could have potentially launched this assault and why?

Recent Attacks & Reshuffles

In recent months, we have seen the killings of top officials in the region’s security apparatus. On December 9th of last year, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) in Gedo, Bakaal Kooke was killed in an explosion as he travelled from Luuq to Dooloow. Al-Shabab claimed the assassination.

Last week, the Deputy Governor of the Buurdhuubo district was injured when artillery was fired at his home which unfortunately killed two of his sons.

Today, an attack on a guest house saw dozens of senior Gedo officials injured including the Governor of Gedo, Ahmed Buulle, Colonel Ahmed Labaale and other senior military and political figures.

The increase in attacks comes at a time where the Federal Government in Mogadishu decided to withdrawal Somali Armed Forces from the frontlines in Gedo to be airlifted to the capital. These units were critical in curtailing attempts by the Kenyan Government under former President Uhuru Kenyatta to launch an attack on Somalia with militiamen loyal to Ahmed Madobe.

Tensions with Madobe

In recent months, we have seen the Gedo regional administration work with Ahmed Madobe’s key former ally, Abdirashid Janan.

There has been a build up of political and military strengthen in recent weeks in the Gedo region as the leadership there prepares to launch a full-scale attack on Al-Shabab positions in Middle Jubba – an area entirely under Al-Shabab control.

However, this remains a major concern for Ahmed Madobe because the idea of the new political alliances in the Gedo region of Jubaland liberating the Middle Jubba region would ultimately end his rule as leader of Jubaland. The simple fact that Jubaland’s opposition to Madobe’s rule is strengthening in Gedo has been a major concern to Madobe and his team which is why they consistently pressured Villa Somalia to force Gedo to accept the terms being pushed by Kismayo to no avail.

Are events unfolding in Gedo simply terrorist attacks or they more political in nature?

For more on Somalia, follow Suldan Mohamed and HORUMAR.

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