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Hirshabelle administration says they requested troops to be deployed in Beledweyne

Friday January 28, 2022

Beledweyne (HOL) - The vice president of the Hirshabelle administration Yusuf Ahmed Dabaged said that he opposed the cabinet's decision to order the withdrawal of federal troops from Beledweyne.

Hirshabelle's vice president said on Friday that his regional government requested the deployment of troops in the Hiiraan region, saying the aim was to reopen al-Shabaab-blocked roads into the area.

The vice president said that the troops who went to Beledweyne were under the command of the President of Somalia and said that they discussed this with the president of Hirshabelle, Ali Gudlawe.

He later denied that the troops were being used in the clashes in Beledweyne. He said politicians in Mogadishu were directly misleading the Somali people. 

On Thursday, Somalia’s cabinet let by PM Roble opposed the deployment of elite Turkish-trained special forces in Beledweyne and ordered their immediate withdrawal.

"The Council of Ministers has agreed that the troops deployed in Beledweyne should be withdrawn as soon as possible and returned to their bases, instructing Ministers and Security Commanders not to use the National Army and discredit it in political matters and limit their work to maintaining national security." A statement from the Council of Ministers said.

The Commander of the Somali National Army, Gen. Odowa Yusuf Rage, defended the deployment of the Somali National Army in Beledweyne on Thursday, saying that the special forces were there to battle Al-Shabaab militants and ensure a peaceful election. 

The 34-year-old top general said the troops deployed in Beledweyne were no different from those deployed in Dhusamareb, Jowhar and Baidoa, all regional capitals whose leaders have close ties to Villa Somalia. 


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