MOGADISHU, Aug. 15– Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar
Robow defected to the Somalia security forces following a bitter fight with
militants in Abal location.
Officials said Robow who is from the large Rahanweyn clan, which dominates
many of Somalia’s most fertile areas, arrived in government controlled town
of Hudur town in Somalia’ southwest State forces on Sunday. Minister of
Internal Security for Southwest State, Hassan Hussein Mohamed confirmed to
Xinhua that the group’s former leader, Robow is with them at moment.
“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 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 five million U.S. dollars bounty placed on his head. He defected
from Al-Shabaab in 2013 when he was 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