African Union’s Ethiopian troops have taken 43 fighters initially confronted with Jubbaland forces, into custody after they surrendered and handed over a cache of arms.
The fighters who took up arms against the interim government of Jubbaland in recent battles began surrendering their weapons on Tuesday after Jubbaland administration reached deal with politicians from Gedo region earlier last month.
Barre Hiraale who is the leader of these fighters was convinced to hand over his fighters to the administration.
Goobjoog News correspondent says 45 fighters were brought in Kismay town by AMISOM trucks and they gave all their guns (upto 36 AK47 rifles ) and uniforms to the administration.
“We are very much delighted with the action of these boys. We feel that everybody should follow the example,” said the commander of the Ethioipian contigent in Kismayo.
Handing over ceremony is underway in AMISOM wants to the fighters and their guns to the administration of Jubbaland which will rehabilitate the fighters according the deal it inked the clan.
Meanwhile sixteen of Barre’s fighters defected to Al-Shabaab and dismissed the agreement between Jubbaland administration
Barre Hirale who was former Somali defence minister and veteran militia commander from the Marehan clan declared himself as the president of Jubbaland in 2013 after the incumbent regional president Ahmed Mohamed Madobe who is a key ally of Kenya elected as president.
Jubaland which lies in the far south of Somalia and borders both Kenya and Ethiopia is recovering from clashes between multiple forces including clan militia, Al-Shabab and others.
Madobe, from Somalia’s Ogadeni clan before elected as president of Jubbaland, was once governor of Kismayo and a key member of the Islamic Courts Union — whose armed wing was Al- Shabab — that was toppled by Ethiopia’s 2006 US-backed invasion of Somalia.