Somalia: Ex Al Shabaab spokesman to turn rebel leader

Robow in hospital donating blood to blast victims [File Photo: Monday, Oct 16]

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Former Al Shabaab deputy leader and spokesman, Mukhtar Robow Ali known as "Abu Mansur" to turn into a rebel commander fighting against the militants, Garowe Online reports.

GO has learned that one of the neighboring countries which contributed troops to AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is planning to arm Abu Mansur to fight against the Islamic insurgents in southern Somalia.

Robow who surrendered to Somali authorities in last August 16 has donated Monday his blood to the victims of the truck bombing in Mogadishu, and has condemned the deadly attack as "un-Islamic".

"I say this attack was a barbaric and against the Islamic region. Those doing such carnage against innocent civilians should repent asking for Allah’s forgiveness," said Robow, while speaking at a press conference.

The leader is currently in talks with the Somali government is trying to win the hearts and minds of the public, after he defected from his former militant group, denounced violence and opted for peace.

"Nearly ten years ago, I called on Al Shabaab leaders during my time with the group to stop bombing civilians, but turned a deaf ear and tried to kill for being a critic to their wrong ideology," he added.

"It happened at Shamo hotel on Dec 3, 2009, a mosque in Bakara market, at the Hargaha and Samaha compound and elsewhere in the country and they [Al Shabaab] did refuse to claim the responsibility."

A scholar who is familiar with Southwest state affairs told GO on condition of anonymity that Robow's political plan is far from the ongoing power struggle in the regional administration.

Former Somalia's Finance and defense Ministers, Mohamed Ibrahim Farketi, and Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed are making political campaign aimed at ousting the Southwest state President Sharif Hassan.

The arming of Mukhtar Robow comes after failure in a decade-long fight against Al Shabaab by Somali National Army (SNA), regional forces and their AMISOM allies.