Eid celebration a year after Ethiopian withdrawal from Ceel Buur
Ceel Buur (Harar24) – The city of Ceel Buur in the region of Galgaduud today witnessed another outdoor celebration today hosted by the Al-Shabaab movement. The celebration was held in honor of the religious festival of Eid.
Ceel Buur had been under the control the Al-Shabaab movement for more than four years, it had been a base for the movement throughout this time to launch attacks against the Sufi militias of Dhusamareb and Gurcel. This was until the Sufi militias with the support of the Ethiopians took over the city last year in March. However, their occupation of Ceel Buur didn’t last long, that same year in June the Ethiopian forces and their armed Sufi allies pulled out of Ceel Buur, not long after that Al-Shabaab regained control of the city and it still remains in their control.
A major role that played part in the retreat of the Ethiopians and Sufis was that almost all the residents of Ceel Buur left the city before the Ethiopians and the Sufi militias rolled in. Those who stayed kept their businesses closed and didn’t interact much with those whom they saw as the “invaders”. Many refused to do business and transactions for them, things became tight for the “invaders” and they felt estranged, ultimately leading to their pull out.
It’s a known fact the tribes inhabiting Ceel Buur and surrounding areas are staunch Al-Shabaab supporters, in fact many Al-Shabaab leaders have praised the Galjecel & Mursade amongst other tribes for their support.
In today’s festival however, Eid wasn’t the only thing being celebrated, but also the “defeat” and “retreat” of the Ethiopians from Ceel Buur last year. Today’s celebration included horse racing, rope pulling, traditional performances, poetry and speeches delivered by Al-Shabaab leaders.
A local told our correspondent that they were very happy to celebrate Eid in their hometown, as last year’s Eid could not be facilitated in their hometown.
This comes amidst many similar celebrations held in Al-Shabaab held regions for the public during the days of Eid, including Barawe, Dinsor, Bulobarde, Bulomarer and many other cities.