Two senior members of the al-Shabab militant group on Wednesday surrendered to Somali government forces in the southern region of Gedo, a military official said.
Abdi Hakim Mohamed Omar, commander of Unit 10 of the 43rd Division of Somali National Army (SNA) said the two al-Shabab militants – Guuliye Hareed Mohamed and Abdullahi Nasiri Ali – handed themselves over to the government forces in Garbaharey town following the recent operations in the region against the militants.
“The two militants contacted our forces and informed they were going to give themselves up and they were ready to leave the militant group and the forces cooperated with them,” the commander said.
He added the government is committed to welcoming those who are quitting al-Shabab militants.
The two former al-Shabab leaders who also spoke to journalists asked Somali people to forgive them for their past actions.
“I regret my previous deeds in al-Shabab as I joined the militant group when I was misguided as a child and I beg my people to pardon me,” said Ali, calling on the other remaining cells in al-Shabab to follow suit.
Somali forces are on major operations in southern regions to flush the militants out of their strongholds in those regions.