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Somalia: President moves to military base after attack outside Presidential Palace

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in military uniforms

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was reported to have moved to a military camp in the capital, Mogadishu, shortly after returning from Brussels on July 19, Garowe Online reports.

The move came after Al-Shabab has carried out deadly car bombings and gun attack outside the Presidential Palace, popularly known as Villa Somalia on July 14 that left at least eight people dead.

Sources revealed to Garowe Online that President Farmajo has temporarily moved his office to General Gordon, a former United Arab Emirates-run training center in the capital, where he would operate from.

The officials at Villa Somalia have raised questions over the State House security following the latest attacks which took place amidst the heavy presence of government troops on main roads in the seaside city.

Last week, a car bomb went off on road outside the entrance of the Palace few hours Farmajo's convoy passed through the same route, sparking gunfight between Al-Shabab attackers dressed in military uniforms and the Presidential guards.

The Security officials further said that the President's motorcade is believed to have been the main target. However, the office of Farmajo is yet to comment on the incident.

The Western-backed weak Federal Government in Mogadishu is facing a major challenge to rebuild the country's security agencies as the leaders of Somalia are differ on the process, according to the sources.

The president regularly meets with the military commanders in their bases in Mogadishu, discuss with them about the status of the army which is being prepared to a takeover of the security from AU forces ahead of the exit in 2020.

Despite this, Somali National Army [SNA] faces difficulties which include lack of regular payment of their salaries, as well as suspension of the U.S. financial assistance over alleged corruption allegations last year.