By Jolly Gwari and Agencies
President Farmajo of Somalia has appointed a youthful Odowaa Yusuf as the commander of the Somalia National Army. This is the latest appointment in the last 22 months in which he has been moved to senior positions within the military. His appointment makes him the youngest ever commander in the military at just 32, having been born in 1987.
Reports show that when Siad Barre regime fell, he was just 3 years old. He was born in Aadan Yabaal District in Middle Shabelle region in Somalia. Between 2002-2005 he attended his secondary education in Mogadishu after which he joined the army in 2007.
The new army boss attended military training in Uganda for one year where he underwent studies in VIP protection. He later became an instructor to new Somali recruits sent to Uganda. In 2009, he went to Sudan for further training. A year later he returned home as a one-star general and attended a 45-day seminar at Haama Dhowr School in Mogadishu.
He later became the deputy leader of the Villa Somalia Protection Unit later rising to be the leader of the unit. This close proximity to the presidency must have endeared him to the center of power.
Notably, the new boss was once again sent for training in Turkey in what was deemed to be the highest training in the Somali military ranks. He returned to several promotions and postings. In 2014, he returned to the Turkish Army War College where he stayed till 2016.
It is upon his return that he was appointed as the commander of the Villa Somalia Protection unit of the 60 division. In 2018 he was appointed as the general commander of division 60 that protects the State House.
Ugandan forces have been in Somalia fighting the Al-Shabaab having been the first troops from another country to engage the terrorists.
World officials from the United States and other European governments have severally commended Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) for its immense contribution to peace and stability in Africa. The appointment of the Ugandan trained officer is another vote of confidence in Uganda’s contribution to peace in Africa.