Al-Shabaab commander surrenders to authorities in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior Al-Shabaab commander on Monday surrendered to government forces on Monday, in a dramatic move at Hirshabelle, in the latest development that could significantly boost the fight against the militants who have been controlling large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
The Al-Shabaab militants have been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed Somalia administration, but their efforts have dragged due to systematic military operations, which are spearheaded by both the Somali National Army [SNA] and AU forces.
HirShabelle authorities said Senior al-Shabab commander Hassan Ahmed surrendered to Somalia's troops in the region after making contacts with SNA. He was received and would undergo proper counseling before being let free.
He said has been fighting along Al-Shabaab for several years but took the decision to leave the group battling the UN-backed Govt and AMISOM. The defector was in charge of operations in Central Somalia.
Usually, such defectors undergo counseling before being repatriated to their respective families. One of the key detectors from the militants is Mukhtaar Robow, who would later be arrested and detained by authorities incommunicado, a move which has been condemned.
Robow remains in a Mogadishu prison over 3 years later after being arrested by SNA and Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] working in Baidoa, Southwest. Robow had joined the Southwest presidential race before his arrest and subsequent incarceration.
Ahmed's move comes a few days after the SNA and AMISOM signed security agreements which would see joint operations take place in coming weeks. AMISOM has been hailed for helping the SNA troops adapt to Sophisticated operations in the city.
The Al-Shabaab group has been suffering significant losses despite its ability to conduct small to large sporadic attacks in the country. It's estimated that the group has close to 7,000 active fighters who have been wreaking havoc in the Horn of Africa nation.