A 32-year-old battle-hardened commander and military instructor who received specialized training from Uganda’s elite forces, has been named chief of Somalia army.
Gen Odowaa Yusuf was this past week unveiled by President Farmajo as the commander of the Somalia National Army in a major shake-up that affected the intelligence agency and command of the armed forces.
Somalia’s Radio Dalsan reported that 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.
When Siad Barre regime fell, Odowaa was just 3 years old. He was born in in Aadan Yabaal District in Middle shabelle region.
However, ChimpReports understands that Odowaa’s rapid rise through military ranks is attributed to his successive victories against Al Shabaab militants in Somalia.
Under General Odowaa’s command of immediate forces, Somali military backed by troops from African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) recently liberated town and villages in Lower Jubba, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Shabelle regions that still have the grip of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces, working in joint planning and operations with the Somalia Security Forces (SSF) recently liberated the town of Awdheegle in the Lower Shebelle region from Al-Shabaab terrorists.
For years, Awdheegle was a base where the terrorists assembled, planned and launched their activities. But the town has now been liberated.
The swift and decisive operation to capture Awdheegle is part of the continued offensive against Al-Shabaab terrorists, carried out through joint planning and execution by the brave fighting forces of AMISOM and Somali Security Forces under Gen Odowaa.
Among the areas liberated include, Awdeeghle town, Sabiid, Barrier and Elsalini.
According to Somali media, between 2002-2005, Gen Odowaa attended his secondary education in Mogadishu after which he joined the army in 2007.
He attended military training in Uganda for one year where he underwent studies in VIP protection. He later became and instructor to new recruits sent to Uganda.
UPDF conducts specialized training of soldiers before deployment in Somalia.
The Somali soldiers are always incorporated in these trainings.
In 2009, Gen Odowaa 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.
In 2013, he was once again sent for training in Turkey in what was deemed to be the highest training in the 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.