Senior Opposition Leader Makes ‘Tactical’ Retreat in Somalia’s Capital


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Wadajir opposition party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur retreated to an opposition stronghold in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu on Monday night after troops loyal to the outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo surrounded his residence.

He was accompanied by two rebellious police and army generals Yusuf Indho-adde and Sadiq John, the former police chief of the capital with hundreds of heavily armed forces.

Mr Abdishakur and his forces moved into Siigaale neighborhood in Hodan district, a strong-hold of his clan and an area under full control of opposition forces, who are now closing in on the presidential palace.

The opposition leader and his supporters said it was a “tactical” decision to take up new positions and leave an area besieged by government troops amid reports that Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo ordered a full-scale offensive on areas held by army mutineers against a parliament vote that had extended his term in office.

Troops loyal to the embattled president were making military movements on Monday night in a military buildup that sparked fresh fears of clashes and led many families to flee their homes. Soldiers with tractors aimed at removing roadblocks set up by opposition forces near the defense lines were seen at Daljirka Dahsoon and other areas.

Mr Abdishakur’s residence and surrounding neighborhoods is now under the control of Turkish-trained government troops, who launched an attack on his house on Sunday evening in what later morphed into a fierce gun battle.

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