Sunday June 18, 2023
Beledweyne (HOL) - Ali Jeyte Osman, the recently-sacked governor of the Hiiraan region in Somalia, has issued a strong rebuttal to his dismissa
l by Hirshabelle President Ali Gudlawe Hussein by declaring Hiiraan a Federal Member State (FMS) and banning officials from Hirshabelle. The firing has drawn immediate backlash from local forces and raised concerns about the future of anti-al-Shabab operations in the region.
In a press conference held in Beledweyne on Sunday, the capital of Hiiraan, Ali Jeyte publicly rejected his sacking, marking a significant escalation in the political tensions between Hiiraan and the Hirshabelle administration. Jeyte announced that Hiiraan would no longer recognize Hirshabelle's authority.
"Effective today, Hiiraan severing ties with the Hirshabelle administration. I anticipate Hirshabelle will adjust to the path we've chosen. We will now focus on the establishment of the independent Hiiraan State administration, dealing with intellectuals other community leaders," stated Ali Jeyte.
Ali Jeyte also declared an immediate ban on anyone who was associated with Hirshabelle from entering Hiiraan. The ban, he declared, will be enforced on both land and air, with strict measures taken against those defying the order.
This opposition to the dismissal comes against a backdrop of the governor's widespread support for his leadership in the fight against al-Shabab in Somalia. The governor had orchestrated the first public uprising against the group, driving it out from the majority of Hiiraan.
In recent months, Governor Ali Jeyte had been at odds with the Hirshabelle administration over a proposal to centralize tax collection
from his region. He had expressed concerns that the proposed centralization would hinder ongoing efforts against al-Shabab by reallocating crucial resources. His dismissal has amplified fears of potential aid to the terrorist group.
The Hirshabelle president's decision to dismiss Governor Ali Jeyte has also resulted in the local 'Ma'awisley' militia blocking main roads
in Beledweyne in protest against the governor's dismissal. The militia, having played a significant role in anti-al-Shabab operations, are also concerned about the future of the campaign against the Islamist group.
As of now, Hirshabelle's President, Ali Guudlawe, has not commented on the ongoing opposition from the governor and the local militia forces.