Col. Mahdi Omar Mumin, born in Cadaado, Galgaduud region, and raised in Mogadishu, has become a key figure in the fight against Al-Shabaab and broader security efforts in Somalia’s capital. His journey from a young student in Mogadishu to the forefront of national security underscores his dedication and expertise.

Mahdi’s academic path led to a university education in Mogadishu, followed by advanced intelligence and special operations training in various countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Turkey. Joining the Somali security forces in 2009, he steadily rose to colonel in the national intelligence agency.

During his tenure with the intelligence agency, Col. Mahdi played a crucial role in capturing numerous Al-Shabaab officers. His leadership roles included district commander, head of the intelligence and special operations division in the Banadir region, and head of rapid response security. He also led the Joint Intelligence Coordination Center (JOCC), involving the government, AMISOM forces, and international partners. As head of security for Galmudug State, he spearheaded significant reforms, bolstering the fight against Al-Shabaab and mitigating clan conflicts.

Following the election of President Hassan Sheikh, Col. Mahdi became a trusted advisor on national security issues. He contributed to strengthening the intelligence agency and intensifying the campaign against Al-Shabaab. At the end of 2022, he was appointed as the police chief of the Banadir region following the tragic death of Farhan Qarole in a bomb attack.

Assuming his new role, Col. Mahdi faced significant challenges, including Al-Shabaab’s infiltration within the security forces. He implemented comprehensive reforms, removing drug-using officers and conducting thorough investigations into the regional force’s personnel. These efforts led to the arrest of many officers colluding with Al-Shabaab and a significant reduction in their influence within the security forces.

Col. Mahdi’s reforms have resulted in a notable decrease in crime rates in Mogadishu, a city with over 4.8 million residents. Thanks to the continuous collaboration between the security forces and the public, the murder rate has dropped to less than 10%, comparable to major cities globally.

Expressing optimism about Somalia’s future, Col. Mahdi emphasized that the Somali people demonstrated that Al-Shabaab could be defeated. He praised Col. Warbac, the Banadir regional intelligence chief, military police, military forces, and all regional administration staff. Since taking office, he noted that Mogadishu has experienced significant economic and demographic growth. He remains hopeful that with President Hassan Sheikh’s ongoing anti-Al-Shabaab strategy, Somalia and Mogadishu will become the most peaceful regions in the Horn of Africa.

Col. Mahdi Omar Mumin’s leadership and reforms inspire confidence and hope for a safer, more secure Somalia.

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qaran24,con opinion contributor

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