Somalia: Jubbaland state soldiers defect to al-Shabaab
JILIB, Somalia- The Militant group al-Shabaab has paraded four soldiers it said they have defected from Jubbaland state forces in its stronghold Jilib town in Middle Juba region on Thursday, Garowe Online reports.
The group al-Shabaab released several photos of the soldiers, with AK47 rifles and clad in military uniform standing side by side in a public square in Jilib town, on its affiliated websites.
In statement, the group said an army officer Colonel Yasin Farah known as (Fiilo), and his bodyguards have joined al-Shabaab, after failing to tolerate the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) massacre against civilians in Kismayo and nearby areas.
The soldiers were based in the port town of Kismayo, about 500 km south of the Somali capital Mogadishu, which is the interim headquarters of the Jubaland state. The reason for their defection is not yet unknown.
Speaking at the site, where the soldiers were displayed, Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdalla, senior leader of al-Shabaab in charge of Juba regions has welcomed the defectors, and offered them an amnesty.
Jubaland authorities are yet to comment on the alleged defection of its soldiers joining the al-Qaida-linked militant group in Jilib district.
The al-Shabaab has in the past paraded defectors from the Somali national army and other pro-government forces as a propaganda tool. The group is fighting the UN-backed government and African Union forces Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).