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President Mohamud sacks Land Forces chief amid Al-Shabaab reprisal attacks

Storyline:National News, Security

GOOBJOOGNEWS|DHUSAMAREB: Somali National Army Infantry Commander Brigadier General Ahmed Adan Ali has been relieved of his duties only three months after he was appointed to the post.

President Hassan Sheikh announced the changes Monday in a mini shake-up of the military command. Brigadier General Ali was appointed to head the Land Forces in June replacing Brig. Gen. Mohamed Tahlil Bihi.

The president elevated Dayah Abdi Abdulle to the position of Colonel and tapped him to lead the infantry division of the military. The President also appointed Brigadier General Madey Nurey Sheikh as the Deputy Army Commander.

The changes come amid increased Al-Shabaab attacks targeting SNA bases, especially in central regions of the country. The Infantry Division is the largest section of the military carrying the majority of the troops.

The President’s move also comes as the African Union Transition Mission (ATMIS) hands over additional Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to the Somali National Army ahead of the September 30 deadline.

An additional 3,000 ATMIS troops and 851 Police Officers will be leaving the country at the end off this month in line with the UN Security Council dictates. In June, 3000 soldiers pulled out while a further 3000 will be leaving at the end of the year.

The African Union Peace and Security Council warned this week that Al-Shabaab might exploit gaps resulting from the withdrawal and called for an equitable pull-out.