Questions raised over recent appointment of new Somali army chief

Brigadier General Odowa Yusuf Rage has been appointment commander of the Somali National Army. At 32 years old, Odowa, nicknamed The Kid, is the youngest person to hold this position in the history of Somalia.

Odowa was born in 1987, finished high school in 2005 and joined the army in 2006.

In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. In 2012 he was raised to the rank of First Lieutenant.

There had been no army units he commanded and was not promoted for his work in battle or any other work he had done.

In 2013 he was once again promoted to the rank of Captain.

In 2016, he was sent for training in Turkey and was again promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2018. He was then appointed commander of operations for the Somali army.

In the same year, he was appointed commander of Somalia’s infantry forces. Shortly after, he was named commander of the Somali army and promoted to Brigadier General.

The first position of command for the Somali army held by Odawa was commander of operations.

Many army officials believe military promotion regulations have been violated, with members of parliament and elders lobbying for the promotion of favorite army officials, while outgoing presidents use them for election campaigns.

It seems this issue will negatively affect the building of the Somali National Army.