Al-Shabab Appoints New Leader After US Drone Strike Killed Godane
The Somalia militia group al-Shabab has announced Ahmad Umar as their new leader to replace Ahmad Abdi Godane, who was killed by an air strike by the United States. The Islamist militia made this announcement in an online statement, where they also vowed to take revenge for the death of their former leader Godane. According to one of the militia’s commanders, Abu Mohammed, the decision to appoint Ahmad was unanimous.
The government of Somalia placed the country on a high-security alert fearing a possible retaliatory attack from the militia. This alert came shortly after the US confirmed they had taken down Godane in the air strikes launched on Monday night on the south of Mogadishu.
The new al-Shabab leader Ahmad Umar, who also goes by the name Abu Ubaidah, has proven to be quiet the elusive character as very little is known about him.
al-Shabab in a statement wrote, “Avenging the death of our scholars and leaders is a binding obligation on our shoulders that we will never relinquish nor forget no matter how long it takes.
By the permission of Allah, you will surely taste the bitter consequences of your actions.”
The al-Shabab made the announcement of Ahmed appointment just minutes have they confirmed that their former leader Godane was indeed killed in the US air strike.
Kalif Ahmed Ereg, the Somali National Security Minister, on Saturday said, “Security agencies have obtained information indicating that al-Shabab in now planning to carry out desperate attacks against medical facilities, education centres and other government facilities.”
Ereg further congratulated the people of Somalia on the death of Godane, adding, “The security forces are ready to counter their attacks, and we call on people to help the security forces in standing against violent acts.”
Also, Somalia’s President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, made a statement on Friday, urging the al-Shabab to embrace peace, after the death of Godane, he went further to announce a 45-day amnesty to militia members who would be willing to renounce the Islamist group.
The late Godane, was among the US State Department’s most wanted men, with a $7m bounty on his head. The US has been supporting the African Union (AU) force that has been on the ground in Somalia since 2011 and were responsible for driving the al-Shabab from the capital Mogadishu among other several towns.
The al-Shabab is an al-Qaeda-linked militia whose main agenda is to overthrow the Somali government which has been backed by the UN. The militia is also responsible for several terrorist attacks in neighboring countries like Kenya, for having provided military troops to the AU forces bringing peace in Somalia.