Birmade To Be Guarded by SNA, First Since 1969

Birmade becomes Somalia’s first non-interim democratically elected president guarded by SNA since 1969, last AU soldier to leave Somalia by end next year.

Birmade Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Security

The security of Birmade Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the president of the federal republic of Somalia, has officially been taken over by specially trained units of the Somali National Army [SNA], making him the first non-interim and democratically elected president of the war-weary horn of African country guarded by Somalia’s own forces since 1969.

On Sunday, December,17 2023, well-trained and heavily armed contingents of Somali National Army took over the security of the presidential Palace from African Transitional Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], previously known as African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] who were protecting the president for the last 16 years.

The handover of the president’s security from the African Union troops, is the first step that paves the way for the withdrawal of African peace keepers from key government institutions in the next few months before they completely withdraw from the country by end of next year.

Somali President Birmade Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
Somali President Birmade Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Photo: Somali presidential Palace, Villa Somalia.

The president of the federal republic of Somalia, Birmade Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, expressed his gratitude for the hard work done by the troop-contributing countries who lost thousands of brave men and women in Somalia while they were helping the government forces fight the Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabab terrorists.

“Now Somalia has brave and well-trained soldiers who are fully ready to defeat and root out the terrorists from our country. Another ten thousand soldiers are now being trained abroad by some of our friendly countries and soon they will return to the country and join the war against Al Shabaab terrorists” Somali president said.

“In the next few months, Somali military will be readying to take over the security of the entire nation and the last African Union soldier will leave Somalia by December next year,” the president of the federal republic of Somalia said during a colorful ceremony in which units of the Somali National Army took over the security of the presidential palace from African Union troops on Thursday.

somalia and au troops. Photo: Somali presidential Palace, Villa Somalia.
Somalia and AU troops. Photo: Somali presidential Palace, Villa Somalia.

Total War Against Al Shabaab

Soon after his reelection in mid-May last year, Somali president declared ‘total war’ against Al Shabaab militants followed by military offensives against the Al-qaeda-linked militants in several regions in the country and since then, the militants were defeated in every battleground causing them to lose many regions they controlled for more than 15 years.

The terrorists have also been weakened financially as dozens of secret bank accounts belonging to them were closed down by the government and many assets confiscated from them by the national security services.

The capital Mogadishu which once suffered from nearly daily targeted assassinations and car bomb attacks by the militants, has nowadays become one of the safest cities in Africa with supermarkets and shops open 24/7 due to the presence of secret services everywhere in the city. The improvement of the security in the city has led to business growth and the increase of tall buildings being built across the capital and its surroundings.

President Birmade chairs security meeting. Photo: Somali presidential Palace, Villa Somalia.
President Birmade chairs security meeting. Photo: Somali presidential Palace, Villa Somalia.

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter. Shafi’i has extensive experience in journalism, international relations, and football management. He is the founder of Somali Sports Press Association, a long-time sports journalist and a member of the International Sports Press Association.

Shafi’i has a Master’s Degree in international Relations obtained at De Montfort University in Leicester and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Multimedia journalism from the University of Northampton. The photo shows Shafi’i in action while at CAF Centre of Excellence in Cameroon.