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Puntland accuses the Somali government of neglecting Eritrean-trained troops and lacking Al-Shabaab strategy

Thursday September 14, 2023


Mogadishu (HOL) — Puntland's Minister of Information, Eng. Mohamud Aydid Dirir, accused the Somali federal government on Thursday of lacking a strategic plan in its fight against the extremist group Al-Shabaab.

In a strongly worded statement, Dirir claimed that the government has failed to effectively utilize troops trained in Eritrea, which he believes had the potential to defeat the militant group.

"We have a large contingent of trained young troops capable of handling any situation and weather condition. Five thousand of them were brought from Eritrea. Those five thousand could defeat Al-Shabaab if they were managed well," Dirir stated.

The minister further accused the federal government of neglecting its army, allowing Al-Shabaab militants to kill soldiers in remote areas. He held President Hassan Sheikh and his administration responsible for the strategic failure against the militant forces.

Additionally, Dirir revealed that the federal government has not shared critical Al-Shabaab intelligence with Puntland, thereby putting the semi-autonomous region at risk as militants flee operations in central Somalia to seek refuge in Puntland.

Dirir noted cases of Al-Shabaab fighters who have escaped, with their current whereabouts unknown.

The Somali federal government has been fighting Al-Shabaab for over a decade, with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and various international partners. Despite significant gains, the extremist group still controls large rural areas of the country and carries out attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and other regions.

The accusations from the Puntland minister come at a time when the Somali government is under increased pressure to stabilize the country as it faces political turmoil, a humanitarian crisis, and a resurgent Al-Shabaab.

The government has not yet responded to the accusations made by Dirir. 


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