Jowhar, Somalia —
For the first time, HirShabelle President Ali Gudlawe Hussein has commented on the political division that emerged following the dismissal of the governor of Hiran and the subsequent appointment of a replacement. President Ali Gudlawe emphasized that HirShabelle is not a political party that can be left at will. His remarks were made during the independence day anniversary celebration in Jowhar.
“The truth is that in HirShabelle, there cannot be another Federal Member State. It is not a party from which you can simply walk away. Once you are born into it, you are part of it, contributing to the building of our state. [Nonetheless] we will take into consideration the advice we receive,” stated the HirShabelle President.
These comments come in response to the former governor of Hiran establishing a new state named Hiran State. While this new entity is not recognized by the Federal Government of Somalia or other Federal Member States, it enjoys the support of Hiran residents, who currently control Beledweyn, the regional capital.
Historically, Hiran had shown reluctance to merge with Middle Shabelle to form the HirShabelle state. The longstanding rivalry between the Abgal of Middle Shabelle and the Hawadle of Hiran has been a persistent undercurrent shaping the region’s politics.
The ongoing power struggle between the HirShabelle and Hiran administrations, along with the potential disruption in the leadership of the latter, may also affect the progress of the counter-al-Shabaab offensive. Although the exact impact of Ali Jeyte’s removal on the offensive remains uncertain, a potential armed conflict between HirShabelle and the newly formed Hiran State could bring the currently halted offensive to a devastating end.