Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is expected to replace armed forces chiefs as part of wholesale changes to the country’s security and defense institutions, which have been implicated a number of abuses during the former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s tenure, Caasimada Online news website reported on Sunday.
On Thursday, Mohamud named an opposition MP Mahad Salad as the new director of the Somali Intelligence and Security Agency which has been mired in a number of scandals over the past years. The man has been critic of Farmajo administration and was one of the leading voices against atrocities committed throughout his term in office.
Mohamud is now planning to fire the army chief General Odowa Yusuf Rage, a young inexperienced military officer who was promoted and anointed to the office by Farmajo allegedly for unquestioningly executing his orders, including crackdown on opposition. Custodial Corps chief, who became an MP weeks earlier, will also be replaced, according to sources cited by the Somali news website.
The new President is also expected to replace the current police boss Abdi Hassan Hijar, who was suspended by the outgoing Premier weeks ago for alleged attempts to undermine a vote for parliament leadership.
Commander of police in Mogadishu is also among security officials who may be targeted in Mohamud’s efforts to shake up police and army. The man led an attack on the residence of Abdirahman Abdishakur in Mogadishu last year that later morphed into street clashes between two factions of government troops.