Al-Shabaab commander surrenders to Somalia troops
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A number of Al-Shabaab militants have continued to use the amnesty window given by the Somali National Army [SNA], with one of the high-ranking commanders officially defecting from the group, which has been counting losses in the last seven months across the Horn of Africa nation.
State media reported that Aden Isaq Hassan, a member of the militant group Al-Shabaab surrendered to the Somali National Army in Baidoa, the capital of the South West State today on Saturday. Southwest has been one of the most infiltrated states by the militants according to records.
For the last three years, state media reported, Hassan has been in charge of the Al-Shabaab guerrilla unit that was terrorizing citizens in the Middle Jubba, Bakol, and Bay regions. The Somali National Army has been camping in their particular regions for the last couple of months.
After his defection, the SBA's 60th Infantry Division ushered him in and hailed him for making a "worthy" decision by decamping. The group's commander asked Al-Shabaab terrorists to make use of the amnesty and decamp from the militants who have destabilized the nation for a couple of years.
The defection comes hours after the conclusion of the religious scholars meeting in Mogadishu which involved clerics across the country. The team denounced violent extremism while commending progress made in the fight against Al-Shabaab and that IS-Somalia militants.
“The conference unanimously agrees that Al-Shabaab, ISIS, and other like-minded groups have deviated from the true teachings of Islam and that they are considered enemies of the Islamic religion and the Somali population,” said Dr. Osman Maalim Mohamud from Saudi Arabia, who read the declaration in the company of other clerics.
They also warned against financing extremist groups, providing them refuge, and seeking justice in their courts.
“Fighting extremism is a duty of every Muslim in Somalia who would love to live in a peaceful and secure country,” the clerics said.
The religious scholars thanked individuals who share information about the militants with the authorities. They described them as nationalists who had the best interest of the country. The country recently announced that over 300 militants have been killed in the last three weeks across Somalia.