Concerns rise as former warlord warns of arming clan militia amidst clan rivalry in Somalia

Amidst escalating clan rivalries and a surge in illicit weapons inflow, former Somali warlord Hussein Farah Aidid voices apprehension that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is arming clan militia in central regions, contributing to the deadly clan conflicts that have claimed dozens of lives in recent weeks.

Mr. Aidid, expressing concern, highlights the illegal arming of the Ma’awisley clan militia in the Hiiraan region, emphasizing that such actions violate international laws and contravene the ongoing UN arms embargo on Somalia.

He points to neighboring Djibouti as a significant source of the illicit weapons and warns of the potential for further clan-based conflicts if this influx is not curbed.

In an interview with local television station SPTV, Mr. Aidid comments on the recent violence between rival Hawiye clans, resulting in casualties in Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions.

“It is concerning that president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is arming clan militia known as Ma’awisley in Hiiraan region. this is a big mistake and illegal under international laws. Somalia is still on UN arms embargo,” he told local television station SPTV.

“Illicit extensively coming from Djibouti,” he added.

He specifically addresses the killing of two businessmen in Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug, attributing the assailants’ escape to Ethiopia and urging their capture.

The incident has sparked tensions within the factions of the Habargedir clans in Galmudug. Mr. Aidid, himself a former warlord and the son of Farrah Aidid, who fought U.S. Marines in 1993, paints a grim picture of Somalia’s security challenges.

He warns of potential turmoil once African Union forces withdraw and raises parallels with the violent aftermath of the U.S. forces’ withdrawal from Mogadishu in 1994, where warring Somali factions clashed over the belongings left behind, resulting in deadly confrontations.

As the UN Security Council pauses the withdrawal of ATMIS for three months, Mr. Aidid’s warnings underscore the precarious security situation and the urgent need for strategic measures to address the complex dynamics contributing to instability in Somalia.

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