Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader surrenders to the Somali government

Sunday August 13 2017

Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali Abu Mansoor guarded by

Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali Abu Mansoor guarded by Al-Shabaab militants in 2010. Mansor and militias loyal to him have recently been facing attacks from Al-Shabaab fighters in his hideout at Abal settlement. PHOTO | ABDULKADIR KHALIF | NATION 

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

“Abu Mansoor who has been at Abal settlement (close to Hudur town) has decided today, Sunday, to surrender to the pro-government forces,” said Shine Moalim Nurow, special police commander for Interim South West Administration (ISWA).

Mr Nurow told the media that Abu Mansoor is now with the Somali National Army (SNA) and the local ISWA forces at Hudur District, the capital of Bakol region, 420 km southwest of Mogadishu.

Abu Mansor and militias loyal to him have recently been facing attacks from Al-Shabaab fighters in his hideout at Abal settlement.

A major Al Shabaab attack on his base at Abal last Wednesday caused the death of at least 20 combatants from both sides.

Since then, there have been skirmishes involving Abu Mansoor loyalists and pro-Somali government forces on one hand and the attacking Al Shabaab fighters on the other.

Mansoor, a jihadist, has been involved in several armed Islamist groups including Al-Ittihaad Al-Islaami in the 1990s.

He is among the founders of Al Shabaab, after the collapse of the Union of the Islamic Courts, a coalition of Islamists that controlled most of the southern and central regions of Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, in 2006.

Abu Mansoor was the first speaker of the jihadist movement and rose to the rank of deputy leader of Al Shabaab.

However, he had major differences with the former leader of Al Shabaab Ahmed Abdi Godane, who died following an airstrike by US drones in September 2015.