Garowe Online (Garowe)

7 June 2014

Somalia: Ex-Al Shabaab Militia Commander Atom Surrenders to Federal Govt

Mogadishu — The former commander of Al Shabaab militia hiding out in Galgala and the difficult terrain of Golis Mohamed Saed Atom has given himself up in Mogadishu, declaring that he has renounced violent activities on Saturday, Garowe Online reports.

Addressing reporters during a news conference, Atom said from now on I will not involve in fighting in accordance with a deal with Mogadishu-based federal government.

He thanked those who accorded the warm welcome to him and disclosed at the surprise press briefing in Mogadishu that harsh principles by Al Shabaab leaders forced him out of the terror arena.

Making allegations against Al Shabaab boss Ahmed Abdi Godane whose group has been facing deep dissension, the fresh Al Shabaab deserter noted that Al Shabaab leader's group accustomed to shedding the blood of innocent civilians."They have no regard to general public who are in grave difficulties; such as displaced people whom they starve by blocking the relief assistance from generous Muslims and non-Muslims," according to a press statement from Ministry of Information

Continuing, he told that during his tenure as the commander of Al Shabaab fighters in Galgala, he opposed to the former Puntland administration of Farole.

Following the arrival of spectacular number of Al Shabaab militants in Galgala through Golis hills, he was forced to resign and depart hideouts in northeastern Somalia, Atom added.

The former commander of Al Shabaab militia in Puntland is labeled as arms-smuggler as well as warlord. His name appeared in UN Monitoring Group report and he was reported to the Security Council.

Al Qaeda linked extremists began to infiltrate into Golis mountain ranges after African Union troops propping up the Somali Federal Government forces removed the militants from a string of strategic towns in southern Somalia.

Puntland forces waged massive military offensives on Al Shabaab hideouts in mid-2010 when former Puntland President, Abdirahman Mohamed Farole's was in office in response to planned assassinations and suicide bombings largely in the Gulf of Aden port city of Bossaso.

The largest military response to Al Shabaab security threat by Puntland at the time dwindled the group's activities and left underground cells destroyed.

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