Mogadishu, 5 June 2019 – Somalia ushered in Eid ul-Fitr with pomp and pageantry following the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which the residents observed strict fasting from dawn to sunset.
Dressed in their best Islamic attire, both men and women, young and old, gathered at places of worship in the major towns to thank Allah for the successful completion of Ramadan.
The residents praised the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces for securing the country during the holy month and expressed optimism that the process of transferring security responsibility from the former to the latter will be successful.
In Dhobley, AMISOM troops and residents held joint prayers to celebrate the special day after the month-long fast.
“We are celebrating (Eid) with our fellow soldiers and the entire community of Dhobley. We have been able to secure the population through joint operations with the Somali National Army and Jubaland security forces, and, as a team, we succeeded in pacifying the area and pushing Al-Shabaab out of the areas we control,” said AMISOM Sector Two Commander Brig. Gen. Dickson Ruto.
Brig. Gen. Ruto urged the residents to continue working with AMISOM and the local administration to achieve lasting peace and security in the region.
In Kismayo, the faithful braved the harsh sunlight and congregated at Waamo stadium to pray for peace and stability in the country.
The deputy president of Jubaland State, Abdikadir Mohamud Lugadheere, who attended the special prayers, urged residents to unite and reject insurgents who want to destabilise the region.
“God has granted us abundant resources and the key issue is security and peace. I request residents of Jubaland to work with our forces to help strengthen the region’s security and reject those who want to destabilise us,” said Mr. Lugadheere, who was dressed in a milk-white thobe.
His sentiments were echoed by Mohamed Abdikadir Aden, a Kismayo resident, who thanked AMISOM for its contribution in stabilising the region and other parts of Somalia.
“AMISOM personnel are good partners who have assisted the government and the people of Somalia, and God willing, we will achieve more in the future,” said Mr. Aden.
Jubaland state is preparing to hold elections in August, this year, and preparations by the administration, AMISOM and the United Nations are already underway to ensure the exercise is free, fair and peaceful.
Elsewhere, in Baidoa, security was tight as officers patrolled the streets and screened residents entering Dr. Ayub stadium for special prayers.
“Somali police managed to maintain security in Baidoa town during the holy month of Ramadan through collaboration with the worshippers. This is a major success,” observed Baidoa Police Commissioner, Mukhtar Ahmed Dugudow.
Present at Dr. Ayub stadium, were the speaker of South West regional assembly, Abdikadir Sharif Shekhuna, members of the regional assembly and cabinet ministers.
In Belet Weyne, the headquarters of Hiran region, the governor of Hiran region, Yusuf Ahmed Hagar, and Belet Weyne district commissioner, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, led the residents in celebrating Eid ul-Fitr at Somali National Army’s Lamagalay Military Base.
Mr. Ibrahim commended AMISOM and Somali security forces for keeping the region safe during the holy month of Ramadan.
“Thanks to God, Somali security forces in Hiran region and Hill Walaal [Djiboutian contingent] for the peaceful Ramadan we have had. I urge all Somali people to continue maintaining peace,” added Mr. Ibrahim.
In Jowhar, the administrative capital of HirShabelle State, residents mingled freely and wished each other Eid Mubarak.
“I call on all Muslims to love one another and forgive each other to enable Somalia reach greater heights of development,” noted Abikar Abdikadir, a Jowhar resident.