Somalia: Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader surrenders to Govt forces

Roobow Abu Mansur

Roobow Abu Mansur

The surrender of Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansuur follows after The U.S. State Department in consultation with the Federal Government of Somalia removed from Rewards for Justice Listing, which angered the Shabab.

Former Al Shabaab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali Abu Mansoor has surrendered to Somali government forces.

A major Al Shabaab attack on his base at Abal last Wednesday caused the death of at least 20 combatants from both sides. "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. Al-Shabab still controls parts of rural Somalia.

Al Shabaab fell out with its former spokesman and deputy leader Robow in 2013 and he has been laying low in the jungles with his forces since then.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to Robow now that he has been captured.

Al-Shabab previous 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. Aweys also defected to the government because of the purge within al-Shabab.

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

Al Shabaab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia's central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to their own interpretation of Sharia law.

The fighters 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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