Somalia: Senior Al-Shabab commander surrenders

By Staff reporter , GAROWE ONLINE
Ibrahim Hassan Ali, al-Shabaab commander made a surprise move surrendering himself to authorities in Burhakabo [Photo: Online]

BURHAKABO, Somalia - A senior Al-Shabab commander has defected and surrendered to Somali government forces in Burhakabo town in Bay region on Friday, January 12, Garowe Online reports.

Authorities said Ibrahim Hassan Ali, high-ranking Al-Shabab leader turned himself in after abandoning his life with the Al Qaeda-linked Somalia-based extremist group.

Before deciding to defect, Ali had been in contact with some of the government force members at frontlines. He also handed over his AK-47 automatic rifle to the Southwest state army officials.

The defector, speaking to the media at Burhakabo district Police station, said he deserted Al-Shabab after "losing patience" with the group's pitiless ideology and bombing the public places.

Since the defection of former Al-Shabab spokesman Mukhtar Robow to Somali Federal government, at least 50 militants, including commanders surrendered in Bay and Bakol regions under Southwest state.

There was no immediate comment from the Al-Shabaab which has increased its attacks aimed at ousting the UN-backed government still propped up by a 22,000-strong African Union (AU) peacekeeping force.

In February, weeks after his election, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo offered pardon to any Al-Shabab members who renounce violence. He promised a demobilization and reintegration into the society.