Al Shabaab Reign Ends in Somali Town as Govt Forces End 16-Year Brutality

Exclusive: Leader of govt-allied freedom fighters spoke to Newsblaze

There is now no more brutality, no fear and no restrictive terrorist rule in Somalia’s El-Dheer town, some 300 kilometers east of the capital Mogadishu. Here, life has returned to normal and residents are enjoying peace and stability a week after government forces and their allies [local freedom fighters] freed the town from the Al-qaeda-linked al Shabaab terrorists, ending their 16-year old brutality.

It was on 21st of December 2023, when the allied forces attacked the town from every corner causing the terrorists to flee after less than two hours of fierce gun battles.

Exclusive NewsBlaze Interview

Newsblaze.com had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with the leader of the local freedom fighters Khalif Omar Moalim Nur via phone from his base in a remote area outside El-Dheer town, as his men hunt Al-Shabaab remnants who might still be hiding in the jungle.

The Khalif didn’t want to give detailed information and sometimes withheld it. “It is a military strategy.” He said his men and the government forces are planning to free the rest of the central Galgduud region from the terrorists within the next two months if there are no changes to their strategy and everything goes well as planned.

“The towns of El-Dheer, Masagawaa and surrounding villages are now free and the people can travel from town to town with no fear. I am inviting the local and the international media to come and see how freely residents are doing their day-to-day activities” he said.

“As I said all towns and cities between Harardheere and El-Dheer are now free, but some remnants of the terrorists are remain in remote areas in the region and we are hunting them and that is why my men and I are in the jungle now. We will only leave here after we either kill or capture the last one of the terrorists” the Khalif told NewsBlaze. He was in the frontlines of the war against Al-Shabaab since the militants were ousted from the capital Mogadishu in 2011.

“We are allied to the government forces, so we are waiting orders from the Somali National Army Chief of Staff, then we will move to the central areas of the region. We can move anytime from now, but as it is a military secret I cannot talk about everything in detail – I think you can understand that” the leader of the local freedom fighters, told Newsblaze.

somali freedom fighters
Somali freedom fighters

Al Shabaab Terrorists Landlocked

Khalif Omar Moalim Nur was exultant that Al Shabaab militants have been weakened and driven from all coastal regions in the country, making them landlocked. “As I am speaking to you now, we are fully in control of all coastal areas in the region. The ill-equipped seaports of Igo and Mareeg that the militants were using until recently are now in our hands. This is a terrible blow to them, because they have no sea routes to escape or import weapons or other essentials” he said, adding that securing all the coastal regions was very important for the fight against Al Shabaab militants.

“People in these areas were living a very dreadful life for 16 years. They always suffered from continuous killings, robbery under a so-called Islamic law and indiscriminate rape of young woman and girls as young as 13 years old. People are now free and recovering from years of setbacks, because there were no hospitals, no schools and no free businesses” the Khalif told Newsblaze.

freedom fighters after defeating al shabaab
Freedom fighters after defeating al Shabaab.

Medical Care Resumes

Residents in El-Dheer town experienced 16 years of lacking some of the most important things of life such as freedom, education and medical care, but the situation is now totally different and they are free from fear, and medical care has been reestablished. Sheik Ahmed Omar, an elder who lives in El-Dheer, said they now have some sort of medical care as the town’s hospital has been reopened.

“The hospital is now open; the government forces have donated some medical supplies to the hospital. Thanks to God and thanks to the government forces for liberating us,” the resident told Newsblaze over the phone. He added “We lived the most terrible life human beings can experience and they [Al-Shabaab] did every bad thing they could have done to us. They constantly robbed the best of our livestock, they closed down the hospital, schools and as well as Holy Quran Madrasas and even destroyed mosques,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

Sheikh Ahmed wondered aloud if Al-Shabaab were true Muslims why did they destroy the mosques and use them for military bases?

He said the schools have not yet been reopened, because they need repairs and learning materials. He expects that sometime in January schools will reopen as some schools are now under renovation. “I call on the government, the international aid organizations and the people from this region who live abroad to urgently help the people in this region recover from the 16-year old calamity, because Al-Shabaab rule was catastrophic,” the elder explained.

In related news, on 17th December, an American reaper drone killed Maalim Ayman, an al-Shabaab commander who led the Manda attack that killed Americans in 2020. Al-Shabaab was responsible for many attacks in Mogadishu and other places in Somalia.

This story was referenced in the press release: NewsBlaze Exclusive: Interview with Heroic Leader Khalif Omar Moalim Nur as El-Dheer Embraces Freedom

somali freedom fighters defeat al shabaab
Somali freedom fighters defeat al Shabaab
somali freedom fighters celebrate after al shabaab defeat
Somali freedom fighters celebrate after al-Shabaab defeat
defeat of al shabaab
defeat of al shabaab
Somali freedom fighters celebrate after defeating Al Shabaab
Somali freedom fighters celebrate after defeating Al Shabaab
Khalif Omar and his men celebrate in El Dheer after victory over Al Shabaab
Khalif Omar and his men celebrate in El Dheer after victory over Al Shabaab
khalif Omar and men walk in el dheer after defeating Al Shabaab millitants
Khalif Omar and men walk in El Dheer after defeating Al Shabaab millitants
khalif Omar men in el dheer after defeating Al Shabaab millitants
Khalif Omar men in el dheer after defeating Al Shabaab millitants
leader of freedom fighters Khalif Omar Moalim Nur in Harar dheer the former stronghold of the Al Shabaab allied pirates
Leader of freedom fighters Khalif Omar Moalim Nur in Harar dheer the former stronghold of the Al Shabaab allied pirates
freedom fighters Khalif Omar Moalim Nur in Harar dheere former stronghold of al Shabaab allied pirates
Freedom fighters Khalif Omar Moalim Nur in Harar dheere former stronghold of al Shabaab allied pirates
government allied forces freedom fighters
Government-allied forces freedom fighters
The khalif and his men
The khalif and his men

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.