Al-Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow surrenders


Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow has surrendered to Somalia security forces following a bitter fight with militants in Abal.

Officials said Robow who is from the large Rahanweyn clan, which dominates many of Somalia’s most fertile areas, arrived in the government controlled town of Hudur town in Somalia’ Southwest State forces on Sunday.

Minister of Internal Security for Southwest State, Hassan Hussein Mohamed, confirmed that the group’s former leader, Robow is with them at moment, according to a report by Xinhua.

“Al-Shabaab militants wanted to kill Robow but we gave him military help and repulsed the Al-Shabaab fighters. Robow is now in Hudur town with Southwest State officials,” Mohamed said.

Robow’s surrender comes after weeks of deadly fighting between Al-Shabaab militants and his militia backed by Somalia security forces.

He left the militant group in 2013 and retreated to his homeland over the disagreement on using foreign fighters in the group.

Robow was before his disagreement with the group declared wanted terrorist by the United States in June 2012 with a $5 million bounty placed on his head. But in June, the US State Department removed him from the terrorist list.

He defected from Al-Shabaab in 2013 when he was a deputy leader in 2012. The U.S. State Department announced in June quietly removed him from their list of sponsors of terror after five years.

Robow who is also known as Abu Mansour is intelligent and was a main pillar of the Somali militant Islamist group.

Analysts say his defection will deny Al-Shabaab vital manpower and intelligence. It is a big blow that Al-Shabaab will certainly lose all South of Somalia due to Robow’s influence there besides the tight noose by Kenya Defense Forces.

Robow’s defection will likely enable pro-government forces to operate in the regions of Bay and Bakool, reducing the insurgents’ operational territory to two.





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