A week after two top commanders attached to Al-Shabaab militants defected in Gedo region, three more militants surrended in the same region on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Voice of America Journalist Harun Maruf said one (commander) joined Somali National Army on Tuesday while two others defected on Wednesday in the notorious Gedo region.
"Three Al-Shabaab operatives defected to government forces in Gedo region within the last 24 hrs. Abdiwahab Ahmed, an Al-Shabaab Da’wa official surrendered in Garbaharey on Tuesday. Separately, two militants arrived in Dolow w/ their AK47, Wednesday," said Maruf, the author of Inside Al-Shabaab book.
Last week, two more top Al-Shabaab militants defected to Somalia National Army and were taken to Mogadishu for questioning. They were set to give intelligence information on abduction of two Cuban doctors from Mandera a month ago.
Despite deployment of elite Rangers Strike Regiment that comprises of Rangers Strike Force and Special Forces, the two doctors are yet to be rescued. Their abduction has led to intensive search in Gedo region near Kenyan border.
"Officials say Aden Abdi Mohamed known as “Aden Obe” surrendered Tuesday near the main Bardhere town. Aden Obe surrendered with another al-Shabab official identified as Food Aden Mohamoud who is described as a taxation official," it was reported.
The development comes just a month after Kenyan troops reportedly withdrew from Gedo region in Somalia. The troops under AMISOM are said to have retreated to Kenya-Somalia border in Gedo.
“Our people spotted the troops heading towards the Somali border. They destroyed their military base before leaving,” a senior politician from Gedo, who requested not to be named for fear of reprisals by both KDF and Somali security forces, told the Nation.
But KDF spokesman Col Paul Njuguna and his Department of Defense counterpart Brigadier Bogita Ongeri denied the claims. Kenya is keen to withdraw troops from Somalia by 2021.
In 2016, KDF suffered the greatest casualties after over 200 soldiers died in El Adde, a town in Gedo region. Since then, KDF has abandoned the camp.