Somalia: Senior Al-Shabab Leader Defects, Surrenders to Govt

Somali officials say a senior al-Shabab official has defected from the group and surrendered to the Somali government in the southwestern Gedo region.

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.

Obe held various positions with al-Shabab, including Consultative Council member, and head of Social Affairs. Most recently, he worked for al-Shabab as head of logistics in Lower Jubba region, according to Somali officials.

Deputy Governor of Gedo region Mohamed Hussein Al-Qaadi said the two men have been in contact with federal government officials who convinced them to defect. He said their defection is a "setback" to al-Shabab.

Obe previously was a member of the Islamic Courts Union which ruled south central Somalia for six months in 2006.

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