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Villa Somalia official found dead in a Mogadishu hotel

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A top Villa Somalia official was on Monday found dead in a hotel within the capital Mogadishu, in the latest mysterious murder, which showcases dwindling security fortunes in the Horn of Africa nation, which has struggled with instability for several years.

Since 1991, Somalia is yet to return into normalcy, following inter-clan conflicts, political duels, and surging cases of insurgency. The Al-Shabaab militants have been a thorn in the flesh given their frequent attacks against security forces and innocent civilians, further causing uncertainty in the fragile nation.

On Monday, Sharif Mohamud Ali alias Dofil was found dead in a city hotel, raising questions about the safety of security officers across the country. Until his death, the career officer was attached to the Villa Somalia, the official residence of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

The incident at Ridwan Hotel has raised suspicions within Somalia, given the officer's high rank and the nature of his work. Villa Somalia is regarded as one of the safest places in Somalia, a country where security is a big challenge given the weak systems of countering terrorists.

His body has been detained by the elite criminal investigations department, which is mandated to investigate complex cases of murder and crimes. The CID team is yet to issue a statement in regard to the mysterious death, which comes at the time the country is undergoing a flurry of political activities.

But sources said the officer met an unidentified woman in the hotel shortly before his lifeless body was discouraged. However, investigators are yet to issue a comprehensive report on the nature of their meeting and her real identity before any conclusions on whether it was murder or suicide are made.

Security forces are some of the major targets for Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants, who have been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed Somalia government. The military target also senior government officials, spies, and innocent civilians in their endless war within the Horn of Africa nation.

The group, however, is yet to take responsibility for the shocking incident. In most cases, Al-Shabaab takes responsibility for crimes committed through statements published on proxy media outlets, and they often give reasons for their actions.

For the past couple of months, many cases of insecurity in the capital Mogadishu have been reported, further raising concerns about the safety of innocent civilians. Somalia still largely depends on external security aid, given by the African Union Mission troops, who have been in the country since 2008.

The mission troops are scheduled to exit from the country in 2021 under the Somali Transition Plan [STP]. Through the estimate, there are close to 22,000 AMISOM troops and police in Somalia, mostly picked from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Djibouti, and Ethiopia, which are top contributing nations.