World
Somali warlord quits al-Shabaab extremists
Publish Date: Jun 09, 2014
Somali warlord quits al-Shabaab extremists
There has been continued unrest in Somalia. Pictured here is a car explosion site on May 31 close to Mogadishus City Palace Hotel. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MOGADISHU - A notorious Somali warlord allied to the Islamist al-Shabaab and on UN sanction lists has agreed to quit the extremists, the information ministry said at the weekend.

Powerful arms dealer Mohamed Said Atom, who is under UN Security Council sanctions for "kidnapping, piracy and terrorism", has been a close ally of the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab.

But a government statement on Saturday quoted Atom as saying he had left the Shebab, accusing Islamist chief Ahmed Abdi Godane of working for a "foreign agenda."

"I would like to declare that as of today I have decided to resolve my religious and political issues through peaceful means and understanding," Atom said, according to the government.

Atom, as well as Shebab insurgents, have long operated from the rugged Golis mountains in the northern autonomous Somali region of Puntland, that forms the very tip of the Horn of Africa.

His defection will be a blow to the Islamists, who have lost a string of towns to a 22,000-strong force of African Union troops fighting alongside the government.


Residents look at the wreckage of a car after it exploded close to Mogadishu's City Palace Hotel, in Somalia. PHOTO/AFP

Atom on Saturday said the Shebab were fighting against Islam.

"Islam is a compassionate religion... they (Shebab) deliberately kill Somali people who are Muslims," he said, according to the government statement.

Atom said Shebab fighters did not care for the ordinary people "whom they starve by blocking the relief assistance from generous Muslims and non-Muslims," the statement added.

The Shebab remain powerful and continue to launch regular guerrilla assaults inside Somalia, as well as attacks including shootings and bombings in regional nations backing the AU mission.

Somalia's information ministry said in a statement it hoped Atom's "brave step inspires others to follow his example and embrace peace and unity."

Somalia's central government has "consistently offered" Shebab members "who have realised the error of their ways and who renounce violence, the opportunity to reintegrate with Somali society and guarantees their safety," it added.

AFP


Also related to this story

Somalia declares new war on al-Shabaab

Somalia security chief resigns after attack
   
Three Ugandan peacekeepers killed during Somalia attack

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Opposition claims Nigeria election win
THOUSANDS of people spilled into the streets of northern Nigeria''s biggest city Kano to celebrate after opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari claimed victory...
Cops suspended for boozing with prisoners
Two Indian police officers have been suspended after spending a night out on the town with prison inmates....
Close race between Jonathan and Buhari in tense Nigerian elections
Opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari had a slender lead over President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria''s knife-edge general election on Monday with just over half of all states declared....
Crash pilot
The co-pilot believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings plane into the French Alps was classified as suicidal "several years ago"....
Arab coalition bombs Yemen rebels for fifth night
Arab coalition warplanes carried out a fifth straight night of air strikes against Shiite rebels near the Yemeni capital and elsewhere in the violence-wracked country, residents said on Monday....
Last minutes of ill-fated Germanwings flight
The ill-fated Germanwings flight started like any other, with the conversation in the cockpit normal....
Should police arrest parents who do not take their children to school?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter