Somalia: Opposition Council Blames Government Negligence for Deadly Militant Attacks

Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s National Salvation Council said on Saturday that losses inflicted by a militant attack on troops manning bases in the Lower Shabelle region were due to “negligence” on the part of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s government, whose term ended nearly two months ago.

In a statement, the council stressed that the president beefed up presence of troops in Gedo region to ramp up fighting against Jubaland regional state and neglected garrisons of military bases close to the capital, Mogadishu.

As tensions over the upcoming elections continue to simmer, the opposition council called for armed forces to be independent from politics and only be used in the war against Islamist militants, which control large swathes of territory in south and central Somalia.

Fighters of the militant group Al-Shabaab stormed two bases in Awdhegle and Barire towns in the Lower Shabelle region early on Saturday morning, with the reports that the militants briefly took over the bases and seized military equipment, including vehicles. Both Al-Shabaab and the government separately claimed victory, though it is hard to verify their assertions.

The National Salvation Council said the military losses came after the national intelligence services failed in their responsibilities and focused on surveillance on opposition figures.

Somali federal government has not immediately commented on the allegations.

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