MOGADISHU, Somalia, – Somali military says two senior officers of al-Shabab have laid their arms to military forces in Bardere town, some 343km south west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Somali chief of forces unit 49 section 43, Ali Mohamed Hassan said his forces had welcomed Mustafa Ibrahim and Mohamed Hassan Madhaley, who were in charge of militants’ intelligence unit and prisons in Jubba regions of the south of Somalia.
Hassan says defected al Shabaab operatives had joined government forces in Gedo region of southern Somalia.
“We have welcomed two al Shabaab commanders. They joined us in fighting against Al Shabaab”, he said.
He also urged other militants, who are fighting alongside al Shabaab to join their government, in a bid to eradicate the terrorist group.
On May 2, Somali military also welcomed nine fighters defected from Al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s UN-backed federal government based in Mogadishu.
The militants’ defection comes a week after seven people were killed after militant group’s fighters carried out an ambush attack on military soldiers while on patrol in the town.
The armed group al Shabaab is yet to comment on the defection of its fighters.
al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda linked group continues to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia
The group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 after a joint offensive carried out by Somalia and African Union troops.
The rebel group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.