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Ex-Al Shabaab Spokesman Appointed Cabinet Minister
Somali News

Ex-Al Shabaab Spokesman Appointed Cabinet Minister

The newly sworn-in Somali government has appointed the former Al Shabaab deputy leader, Mukhtar Robow, as Minister for Endowment and Religious Affairs

He was selected to join the Cabinet by Somalia’s new Prime Minister, Hamza Abdi Barre. 

Robow is a co-founder of the Al-Shabaab. He left the group in 2013 after conflict emerged with the group’s former leader, the late Ahmed Abdi Godane. 

In August of 2017, the new Minister for Endowment and Religious Affairs surrendered to Somali authorities and was briefly put into custody.

Robow, a year later, attempted to run for the President of Somalia’s South West state but he was apprehended by Somalia’s federal government.

The United States government once put a Ksh500 million bounty on Robow who was identified by his alias, Abu Mansur. 

America is one of Kenya’s long-term allies in the fight against terror with both countries deploying soldiers to peacekeeping missions in Somalia to combat the Al Shabaab militants. 

The appointment, which comes amid renewed relations between Kenya and Somalia, could easily shake diplomatic ties between the two countries due to Nairobi’s tough stance on terrorism. 

Al-Shabaab has been accused of conducting a series of coordinated attacks in East Africa, such as the 2010 World Cup bombing in Kampala, Uganda, that killed 74 people, and the 2013 assault on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that left at least 67 dead.

Other attacks on Kenya include the 2019 DusitD2 hotel siege and the 2015 Garissa University attack that left a combined total of 168 victims dead. 

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