Ten members of al Shabab militants surrendered to the South West regional state forces in the Bay region today.
The defectors were displayed in Baidoa. Security officials revealed they were key figures within the rebel militants, responsible for orchestrating dangerous combat operations and launching deadly attacks.
Intelligence sources from the South West region disclosed that the surrendered militants actively engaged in fierce battles across various territories, including Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Hiiraan, and Mudug.
This unprecedented influx of al-Shabaab members defecting from the group marks the largest wave since the Somali federal government launched its highly successful anti-al-Shabaab offensive in August last year.
Among all the regional administrations, the South West administration has emerged as the primary recipient of surrendered al-Shabaab fighters, underscoring the ongoing strength of the extremist group within the region.
Although security forces continue to make significant progress in combating al-Shabaab, its presence remains a persistent challenge in the South West areas.
Earlier this year, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called on young al-Shabab fighters he says are “brainwashed” to surrender to the government amid ongoing military offensives against the group.
Mohamed called on the al-Shabab fighters to denounce the terrorist ideology before it is too late.
On Saturday, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said that 54 Ugandan peacekeepers were killed in an attack last week by the militant group al Shabaab on a military base in the lower Shabelle region in Somalia.
Museveni said the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) had since recaptured the base from the Islamist group.
Al Shabaab, which has said it carried out suicide bomb attacks and killed 137 soldiers at the base, has been fighting since 2006 to replace Somalia’s Western-backed government with its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law.