Analysts believe that Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was in Mahaas yesterday to seek support from the Hawadle clan. After the failed operations in Galgaduud and the collapse of the southern frontline, the President of Somalia visited the Mahaas district of Hiran. He flew there from Dhuusamareeb, a city that has been his base for the past five weeks.
Mahaas, Hiran region, SOMALIA. By Jama:
Hassan Sheikh’s visit to the (almost) frontline Mahaas district signifies his support to the Somali National Army (SNA) in eradicating al-Shabaab. The President recently tried to boost the soldiers’ morale after several defeats and withdrawals in Galgaduud. Interestingly, this was not Hassan Sheikh’s first attempt to visit the frontlines. The Somali Digest learned that the President planned to visit Gal’ad to support the troops. However, al-Shabaab was faster in capturing the town.
Apart from providing encouragement to the soldiers, analysts believe the reason for Hassan Sheikh’s visit to Mahaas was to seek support from the Hawadle clan militias to join the fight on al-Shabaab. The President must have realized that with the recent setbacks and SNA’s defeat in Osweyne, the government troops alone will be unable to recapture the Galgaduud territories from al-Shabaab.
Friday’s address to the nation
Speaking on X last Friday, the Somali President finally addressed the recent setbacks and vowed to hold those responsible accountable.
The President decided to use an unconventional platform for his address to the nation. According to available data, only 1% of the eligible (aged 13 and above) Somali population use X (previously Twitter). This selection raises questions about the audience the President intended to reach. Clearly, Hassan Sheikh did not aim to address the vast majority of Somalis who do not use X (Twitter).
Moreover, appearing visibly tired and stressed, the President blamed whoever else he could except for one key decision-maker, himself. The lack of self-reflection was uncanny. He admitted that “There is no other place where government forces have suffered such a major loss,” referring to the loss of Osweyne. He blamed his government, which he is the head of: “We are aware that government officials committed major mistakes.”