Al-Shabaab leader denounces violence & surrenders to Somalian government | Africa in the news Al-Shabaab leader denounces violence & surrenders to Somalian government – Africa in the news
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Al-Shabaab leader denounces violence & surrenders to Somalian government

By Staff Reporter

A senior Al-Shabaab militant commander, Sheik Mohamed Said Atom, on Saturday gave himself up to Somali government authorities after he announced his renouncing of violence in Somalia.

The militant commander has been active in the northeastern state of Puntland where his militias operated in the mountain region of Galgala for the past several years.

In a statement the defecting Islamist commander says that he left the group because he could not “tolerate the misleading of Al- Shabaab and its leader.”

“I have been tolerating the misleading of Ahmed Abdi Godane (Al- Shabaab Emir) and his group towards the Sharia (Islamic law) and Muslims. I have today decided to leave Al-Shabaab,” Sheik Atom said.

Somali government welcomed the extremist commander’s move, saying it hoped defection will inspire others to reject Al-Shabaab and “embrace peace and unity” in the country.

“Sheik Atom has exposed the reality of Al-Shabaab: un-Islamic and un-Somali, the puppets of foreign masters and riven by internal feuds,” the Somali government said in a statement.

Somali government officials have offered an amnesty to Al- Shabaab members and leaders who it says “realized the error of their ways and who renounce violence.”

The radical commander listed several reasons for his decision to leave Al-Shabaab including misleading the youth, killing of innocent people including Muslims leaders. He accused the Islamic extremist group of blocking aid to displaced people.

Al-Shabaab have not so far officially reacted to the defection of Atom but pro-radical media have downplayed the importance of the changing of sides saying the commander was “merely an ally” of the group rather than key official within the Jihadist Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

-xinhuanet

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