Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre appointment Mukhtar Robow, a former al-Shabaab deputy leader of the Somali branch of the international jihadist terror group al-Qaeda, was appointed Somalia’s new religion minister on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
“After careful consideration with the President and the public, I have appointed cabinet ministers with education and experience who will carry out their duties,” Prime Minister Barre said. Say On August 2, before the appointment of several cabinet members, including Robow. “I am asking Parliament to approve the Cabinet.”
Robow, also known as Abu Mansour, appeared at Somalia’s presidential palace on August 2, when Barre announced his new cabinet appointments in the press. Somali security authorities released Robow, who was detained at the Somali National Intelligence and Security Service (NISA), Voice of America (VOA) headquarters just 24 hours ago report Tuesday.
Robo has been detained or placed under house arrest by Somali government authorities over the past few years. In December 2018, a joint unit of Somali and African Union security forces arrested Robow in Baidoa while he was running for regional presidency in the southwestern state of Somalia. The former Somali government ordered Robo’s detention in late 2018 to prevent him from taking power in the region, where he enjoys significant public support as a local resident.
Robow’s arrest in December 2018 sparked an outcry in Baidoa over the measure. Somali security forces responded harshly to the unrest.At least 15 killed in clashes, ‘including soldiers and civilians’, BBC report then.
On August 2, VOA reviewed Robbo’s dual history of serving the Somali government and al-Shabaab, writing:
Robo rose to prominence as the deputy defense minister of the Somali Islamic Courts Union in 2006, when the group temporarily took control of much of south-central Somalia, defeating a U.S.-backed coalition of warlords.
Robow went on to serve as the official spokesman for Al-Shabaab and later as the group’s deputy leader. In 2008, the United States designated al-Shabaab a terrorist organization. In 2012, the United States offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Robow’s arrest, but the offer was withdrawn in June 2017.
“Before al-Shabaab was formed, Robow was trained by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan,” VOA said.
Al-Shabaab was established in Somalia around 2006 and is a direct offshoot of Al Qaeda, an international jihadist terrorist organization established around 1988. Al Qaeda made headlines on Aug. 1 when Washington announced that the group’s newest leader, Ayman – Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 30.
The U.S. government-funded broadcaster VOA further revealed on Tuesday that an interview it conducted with Rob in October 2021 led to his most recent detention by Somalia’s National Intelligence Service, which ended on August 2.
“In August 2019, he was transferred from prison to house arrest,” VOA noted, referring to Robow’s detention for his December 2018 arrest in Baidoa.
“He was sent back to NISA headquarters after an interview in VOA Somali last October,” the broadcaster reported.
In a related interview in October 2021, Robow allegedly Speaking to VOA, he was “kidnapped” by Somali government forces, who he claimed were detaining him for political purposes because they did not want him to run for any government office. Robow publicly denounced Al-Shabaab in 2013 before making his first attempt to run for office in Somalia in 2017.
Somalia’s newly-elected president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, assumed Office in May. He campaigned on a pledge to fight al-Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has reportedly grown stronger over the past three years, during which time Mohammed’s predecessor, Somali ex-President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, “was consumed by political infighting, [and] There was little action against al-Shabaab,” Reuters recalled on Tuesday.
“This has allowed the insurgents to accumulate large cash reserves and launch attacks in large swathes of Somalia. Last week, dozens of al-Shabaab fighters and Ethiopian security forces were killed in clashes on the shared border between the two countries,” the news agency noted on Aug. 2. .