Ex Al Shababa Leader Surrenders To Southwest State

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 13, 2017

Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader and spokesman Mukhtar Robow Ali surrendered to Somali authorities on Sunday, according to a state official.

Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow on Sunday defected to the Somalia security forces following a bitter fight with militants in Abal location, an official said.

The wanted man was attacked by Al-Shabaab militants in his hometown of Abal last week after initiating talks with the Somali government for his surrender. "Hundreds of clan militias dug in trenches in the hills of Abal village and its surroundings to defend any attack from Al-Shabaab" Omar Abdi, a resident in the town of Hudur said.

Earlier this week, Robow lost at least 19 of his fighters to al-Shabab, our correspondent said.

Robow and al-Shabab parted ways in 2013, and since then he had been laying low in the jungles with his forces.

Before his disagreement with the group, Robow was declared wanted terrorist by the United States in June 2012 with a $5 million bounty placed on his head.

It was not immediately clear what would now happen to Robow, but residents and an analyst were doubtful over the impact of the move.

Al-Shabab past year was named the deadliest armed group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington, DC-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Al-Shabaab aims to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state.

The extremist group has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government of President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed launched a new military offensive against it.

The militants, who are allied with Al Qaeda, were driven out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011.

Al-Shabab, nevertheless, remains a formidable threat and frequently carries out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against both military and civilian targets.

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