Eight months into the reign of president Farmaajo, on October 14, 2017, two trucks laden with bombs exploded in Muqdishu killing over 500 people. This attack was the single deadliest act of terrorism in Somalia and Africa at large. It also represented the third deadliest terrorist bombing attack and the seventh-deadliest act of terrorism in modern history, surpassed only by the 1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers in Sri Lanka, the 2008 Christmas massacres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2007 Yazidi communities bombings, the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre in Iraq, and the September 11 attacks in the United States. The lead up to the commemoration of the anniversary of this heinous act of terror is always a sacred time for most Somalis due to the significance of the attack.
The lead up to the second anniversary of the attack was anything but comparable to the previous one. Coming on the backdrop of a bitter contest between the federal government and the leadership of the semiautonomous Jubbaland, where villa Somalia’s overtures seemed to lose to the determination and commitment of the people of Jubbaland to remain independent of the Muqdishu corruption, there were bound to be some reckoning. The last straw in the contest was the federal government trying to block the validation of the election by blocking attendees to the inauguration of Madobe, they fell short on this one too as several local and regional leaders found their way to the highly successful ceremony.
Upon the peaceful conclusion of the Jubbaland election, the head of UNSOS Lisa Filipetto made plans to visit both Kismayu and Dhobley and meet Madobe, from the UN compound in Muqdishu. NISA, the Somalia intelligence agency headed by ‘former’ Al-Shabaab amniyaat Fahad Yassin came to learn this at a time Villa Somalia would do anything to stop another Madobe photo op with an influential individual. Having become aware of the procedures at the UN compound, NISA was well cognisant that the quickest way to halt the plans was to have the threat level against the Director and his team elevated.
NISA advised the president that the simplest way to stop the planned visit and the eventual photo op was to have the threat level elevated in the UN compound. Aware of the repercussions of using the Somali National military soldiers in an attack necessary to their desired outcome, they decided to call on their buddies across the battle lines or so we have always thought these lines did and do still exist. The line between the Farmaajo government and the Al-shabaab has eroded overtime and the confluence of their interests have never seemed more aligned. This attack and several others that have served the crooked interests of the current president are all proof of this unholy alliance.
The complicity of the current Somalia president seated in Muqdishu in the attack on the UN compound in the capital has been proven in all but a video of Farmaajo and the Al-Shabaab leadership toasting to a successful attack. All intelligence reports have suggested, with evidence that the attack was carried out on the direction of, on the behalf of and for the selfish interests of the president and his cronies.
The president having tasked his relatives, friends and associates in the terror group responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Somali women and children; bombed out of their precious souls in their day to day living in restaurants, market places, streets and homes, stayed easy awaiting the execution of his malevolent plan.
On October 13, 2019, being the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on Somali soil, the terrorist group responsible for that attack shelled the UN facility with mortars, the people funding and directing the peace initiative beside many other humanitarian efforts, at the behest of the president of the same people.
The president was elected and sworn into office to protect the people of Somalia from Al-Shabaab and lead them to prosperity but he and his evil clique betrayed them by working with a terror organization hell bent on not only destroying the fragile fabric of the state of Somalia and curtailing efforts to bring back peace and prosperity but also taking hundreds of lives in the process.
If the federal government of Somalia can connive with the Al-shabaab terror group to shell a UN installation with mortars in order to stop a UN official from visiting a duly elected regional leader without any regard to the probability of loss of life or the repercussions to the people for who’s welfare he is responsible for should the UN fold up and leave the country to its own means, what else is he capable of?
The betrayal, the evil acts and the duplicity of Farmaajo and his evil circle at Villa Somalia cannot and should not continue unabated. The people of Somalia and the organizations championing the peace process in the country must learn that the current Somali government is carrying water for concern groups or individuals with interests contra to the wellbeing of the state and the people of Somalia.
Mohammed Ise Khayre
The writer is a Somali national and an anti-corruption activist
Find him on twitter @Ise_Khayre