A senior member of al-Shabaab militants on Friday surrendered to the Somali National Army (SNA), a military official confirmed. “Mohamed Abukar, the leader of al-Shabaab for finance in the Lower Shabelle region, contacted our forces informing he was willing to leave al-Shabaab cells to join the government army and the forces cooperated with him,” Isma’il Abdi Malik Malin, commander of the SNA’s 16th Unit, told reporters.
Abukar, now in the hands of government forces, will be handed over to intelligence authorities, Malin said. The surrender comes as government forces intensify operations against al-Shabaab extremists in the southern regions in recent months. There has been a surge in the number of defections from the Al Shabaab terror group due to rigorous onslaught from the Somali national army and allies including AMISOM and the American military and internal wrangling of the group.