The Somali government on Monday announced that a former al-Shabab leader had defected from the group and joined the Somali government.
Local media reports that Ibrahim Aden Ibrahim was said to be the the group’s head of education in Bay, in Somalia’s Bakool regions in the country’s southwest.
According to Voice of America’s Harun Maruf, Ibrahim who was shown addressing the media stated that he decided to leave al-Shabab and take advantage of the government’s amnesty offer.
The Al Qaeda-linked group have claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks on civilians and on government and international security forces deployed to fight them. They still hold some regions in the country even though their capabilities are thought to be waning.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in a recent report officially labeled al-Shabab militants as a transnational security threat in the East Africa region.
According to the report titled Al-Shabaab as a Transnational Security Treat. the group could be likened to the Islamic State group, with capabilities to recruit young people beyond its power base.
The report stated that al-Shabab (real name Harakaat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujaahidiiin) had long been perceived as a Somali-organization even though it represented a threat to the wider East African region.