Somalia: Police commander resigns after accusing colleagues of releasing Al-Shabaab detainees


MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior police commander resigned on Friday at Dhusamareb, the regional administrative capital of Galmadug, reports have emerged, in a move which further implicates the federal government of "unholy" alliance with Al-Shabaab.

Major Burhan Ahmed quit from the service in an unprecedented move, accusing unnamed officials of releasing several Al-Shabaab detainees under his probe, but he failed to name the officers sabotaging his efforts.

The actions, he said, undermined efforts by him and junior officers, who work with zeal and dedication to free Somalia from decades of Al-Shabaab terror and impunity, which have undermined peace-building processes in Somalia.

He said some of the militants released are those reported by local intelligence and have since gone ahead to revenge against "spies", adding that life has become unbearable in the fight against Al-Shabaab due to "internal" sabotage.

"We are frustrated as officers. It's pointless to continue arresting Al-Shabaab only to be released by some of our colleagues. This is what informed my resignation," said the commander, who is credited for security in the town.

He added: "We can only win this war if we remain focused and honest. Otherwise, we are a big letdown for our partners. Those in charge should stop cooperating with the terrorists to undermine genuine officers' work".

Major Ahmed's revelation, should it be established, would vindicate Kenya's spy agency NIS and Kenya Defense Forces [KDF], who recently accused Somalia government operatives of financing and supporting the Al-Qaida linked group.

Somalia's spy agency NISA, the confidential report claimed, was in constant contact with the militants, providing them with intelligence briefs and finances, in return for raids against KDF troops in AMISOM.

But in a rejoinder, Somalia dismissed the report as "fake news" aimed at tainting "a well behaved and professional government agency". The claims, it added, was a choreographed scheme to "undermine" credible public institutions in Somalia.

Despite the shocking statement by the police commander, the government is yet to issue a rejoinder over his unprecedented incrimination against authorities. It's not clear if the officer was threatened or willingly bowed out of the service.

This comes amid escalating attacks by the Al-Shabaab against security forces and civilians. For instance, the militants ambushed SNA troops on Friday in Bal'ad town, 30km north of Mogadishu. The officers were traveling from Jowhar town, the regional administrative capital of HirShabelle.

In one of their propaganda sites, Al-Shabaab claimed that the fierce gunfight had left one SNA soldier dead in the Middle Shebelle battle. The militants, it added, confiscated a pickup and two motorcycles during the raid.

On Thursday night, the group also admitted shooting Abdiwali Gatamow, a former Somali national team soccer goalkeeper, moments after attending prayers in a mosque. However, the group did not reveal the intentions behind the assassination of the soccer star in Afgoye.

Despite the claims and counterclaims that FGS is cooperating with Al-Shabaab, SNA troops in collaboration with allied military forces have managed to liberate several towns from the militants.

Janaale in Somalia's Lower Shebelle region is one of the latest captures according to African Union Mission in Somalia.


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