Al-Shabaab front leader surrenders in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior Al-Shabaab frontline leader surrendered to the Somali National Army [SNA] forces on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed, just as the military prepares for the second phase of operations against the group in Jubaland and Southwest states, where the militants have camped for ages.
Muqtar Mohamed Ishaq Rabani, who is an active Al-Shabaab member, surrendered in the Bakool region within Southwest, becoming the latest high-profile militant to drop violent extremist ideologies which have significantly contributed to instability in the country.
According to the Ministry of Defence, his defection was a clear manifestation that military offensives across the country are yielding fruits as envisaged in the plan to liberate many regions in the country. The Al-Shabaab militants are still trying to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia.
"Muqtar Mohamed Ishaq Rabani, an active Al-Shabaab front leader in Bakool region, surrendered today to our forces in Goof Gadud Burey," the Ministry of Defence, which has been giving such updates lately, said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
"His surrender is a clear indicator of our effective counter-terrorism operations and dwindling morale within the Khawarij ranks. No escape," the ministry added, noting that such offensives will go on as planned despite a few setbacks the country encountered.
The Al-Shabaab militants are facing onslaught across the country, with the Somali National Army working closely with US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS]. Also in the picture are local militia who have helped the military to navigate several areas.
Al-Shabaab militants have continued to wreak havoc on innocent civilians across the country. The government of Somalia announced that at least 3,500 militants have since been killed in the last 12 months after the army launched operations against the militants.