Darul Nim’a, Ruun-Nirgood, Somalia –
During their regular operations in the vicinity of Darul Nim’a, the District Secretary and his driver were attacked by an al-Shabaab-planted improvised explosive device (IED) in the early morning hours of Saturday. The explosion occurred during the morning prayers within the jurisdiction of Ruun-Nirgood.
The IED was planted by al-Shabaab militants, who swiftly took over the area a day earlier. “Despite our efforts to defend the area against them [al-Shabaab], they managed to plant the IEDs along the roads of Darul Nim’a,” Moalim Muhyadin Mohamud, the District Commissioner of Ruun-Nirgood, told the Somali Digest.
One of the IEDs that detonated yesterday morning resulted in the deaths of District Secretary Abukar Jawin Addow (also known as Abukar Miiney) and his driver Abdi Mohamed Moalim (also known as Abdi Markab).
The District Secretary, who also held the position of head of the Ma’awisley militia in Darul Nim’a, patrolled the area to ensure that al-Shabaab did not establish a presence. The incident, also claimed by al-Shabaab’s official media channels, occurred shortly after the al-Qaeda affiliate captured Darul Nim’a a day earlier, prompting the villagers to flee without putting up a fight. The invaders destroyed the village’s well and a portion of its only mosque. By day’s end, they had departed, leaving the once bustling village in a state of desolation.
The risk of erosion of public trust
The revelation of al-Shabaab’s recent activity in Ruun-Nirgood is deeply concerning, particularly in light of the Defense Ministry spokesperson’s announcement in December 2022 that government security forces had successfully regained control of the district from al-Shabaab. This presents a troubling precedent that raises questions about the effectiveness of the previous operation to secure the area.
The repeated losses could prevent local residents from collaborating with government forces, as they perceive a lack of ability to ensure security and stability. This erosion of public trust poses a significant threat to counter-terrorism efforts. It also exacerbates Somalia’s already precarious security situation, especially on the eve of another phase of the counter-al-Shabaab offensive.