Sheikh Omar Sheikh Mohamed Farah died Sunday after sustaining injuries in a road accident in Mudug region in Central Somalia on Saturday.
Ahlu Sunna militia group was founded in 2008 as a pro-government Islamist force that counter-balances the Al-Shabaab who have been waging war to destabilise Somalia.
Deputy Head of the group’s Executive Council Sheikh Ahmed Ilka-asse broke the news saying their former leader died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the regional capital Galkayo, 750 km north of the capital Mogadishu.
The late Farah was elected as the spiritual leader of the pro-government Islamist militia group in 2008. Under his command, the movement succeeded to push
Al-Shabaab militants from two strategic places in Galgadud, Central Somalia, namely Dusamareb and Guri’el and Mataban District in Hiran region.
In 2010, Sheikh Farah was voted out of office, but unlike other politicians in Somalia, he did not shift alliances. He remained loyal to Ahlu Sunna and stayed active within its ranks.
The cleric has recently been one of the spiritual guides of the movement’s militias that have been seizing territories from Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda movements in Somalia, particularly in the central regions.
Ahlu Sunna is allied to the Transitional Federal Government and has deployed militias in several regions of Somalia including Mudug, Galgadud, Hiran, Banadir and Gedo.
The movement has also maintained close collaboration with Ethiopian troops that usually cross the border to help the pro-government forces.