54 Shabaab militants have defected to government since Oct 14-Security minister

Internal Security Minister Mohamed Islow said 54 Al-Shabaab militants had defected to government side since the Oct 14 truck bombing. Photo: Goobjoog News

Fifty four Al-Shabaab militants have surrendered to the government since the October 14 truck bombing in Mogadishu, the government has said.

Internal Security minister Mohamed Islow said Saturday the militants defected following the government’s defector programme. The minister noted the government had established rehabilitation centres for defectors in the capital Mogadishu, Kismayu, Baidoa and Beletweyne.

The government put the number of deaths from the October bombing at 512 according to a report released Thursday.

Islow added his ministry had also started a six months programme dubbed be among your people which involves the participation of local religious leaders, students and parents whose children have defected from Al-Shabaab. The programme is aired on 20 local radio station and five television stations, the minister said while presenting his ministry’s progress report.

Meanwhile the government has also made significant efforts to push for global recognition of the Somalia passport. Islow said so far the government of Norway is the first European country to recognise the Somali passport and can now issue visas on the same passport. The Minister noted he had also dispatched delegations to Britain, Denmark and Sweden on a similar mission.

Other developments by the ministry according to the minister include securing police training support from Turkey for 250 officers and deployment of five vehicles to facilitate border controls in Dobley, Beled Hawo and Dollow towns. The three towns now have immigration departments, the first since 1991, the minister said.

Other ministers will be making their presentations today.


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