Media outlets and journalists in Somalia are reporting that Ethiopian forces in the country had arrested the former al-Shabaab leader, Mukhtar Robow during a raid.
Citing Robow’s campaign chief, Radio Dalsan, said the former number two of the insurgent group had also been tortured by the Ethiopians after the arrest.
The incident took place in Baidoa, capital of Somalia’s South West regional state. Robow is currently in the race to become president of the region. Polls for the seat has repeatedly been delayed.
BREAKING #Ethiopian forces in Baidoa arrest former #Alshabab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow and presidential candidate of south west regional state in raid #Somalia, Chief campaigner of Robow told Dalsan that Ethiopian troops tortured the candidate during the raid -SRC:— HornDiplomat (HornDiplomat) December 13, 2018
The station has also stated that there is currently tension in Baidoa and that all communication had been shut down. The federal government has yet to comment on the issue.
The repeated postponement of the regional polls had partly been blamed on federal government machinations to impede Robow’s political ambitions.
He had risen as high as the deputy leader of Al-Shabaab, a group that continually carries out suicide attacks especially in Mogadishu. They also hold large swathes of territory in parts of the country.
Mukhtar Robow was officially cleared by the South West State Electoral Commission to contest in the 19 December elections despite early protest by the Federal government seeking to have him barred #Somalia— Radio Dalsan (@DalsanFM) December 13, 2018