Two senior Al-Shabaab commanders have surrendered to Somali government authorities in administrative capital of Southwest state, Baidoa, officials said on Monday.
The disarmament and militia rehabilitation minister of Southwest state Hassan Hussein Mohamed told reporters that two commanders have defected to the government.
The two first made contact with government authorities in Baidoa town of Baay region before ultimately giving themselves in, according to Mohamed.
“They were Al-Shabaab commanders in charge of zakawat (levy) collection in this region. He had communication with us and told us that he is planning to leave his militant group,” Mohamed said.
The minister welcomed the commander’s move, saying it hoped defection will inspire others to reject Al-Shabaab and “embrace peace and unity” in the country.
Al shabaab, however, did not comment on the alleged surrender of the commanders.
The two Al-Shabaab officials have surrendered at a time when Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo vowed to fight Al-Shabaab and their ideology.