Somalia: Incommunicado Detainee and Ex- Al-Shabaab Commander Mukhtar Robow Surfaces in Mogadishu

Mukhtar Robow, a former Al Shabab deputy commander has raised questions in Somalia about what to do with former militants and if they have a future in politics

Mukhtar Robow C, meets family members after four years incommunicado detention in Mogadishu

Somalilandsun: For the first time in four years Mukhtar Robow has been public seen.

The former Deputy Al-Shabaab leader has four the past four years been under a National Intelligence Service Agency-NISA imposed House detention in Mogadishu.

According to Mogadishu Times the former militant was allowed to visit his family , a move that is completely opposite his years of incommunicado captivity.

This change by NISA comes a few days after former Somalia president Farmajo lost in elections thus relinquished power to his successor Hasan Sheikh Mahmud.

Mukhtar Robow is a co-founder and former deputy leader of Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Robow reportedly left the group in 2013 after disagreements with the group’s now-deceased leader Ahmed Abdi Godane. In August of 2017, Robow surrendered to Somali authorities.* In late 2018, Robow attempted to run for president of Somalia’s South West state before being arrested by Somali’s federal government

Muktar Robow campaigns for Somalia’s South west regional state presidency. Garoweonline photo courtesy

The incommunicado in detention .of Robow came to the public limelight following a confidential interview with VOA Somali Service six months ago, when he informed that he had been denied access to his family since his arrest.

The VOA exposure of December last year prompted the Somalia security minister demand that NISA provide information on Mukhtar Robow’s condition within 24 hours.

A day later, NISA responded to the security minister’s request, saying Robow was in good health and that the government was paying $ 7,000 a month for his care.

Robow was arrested in December 2018 in Baidoa as a candidate for the presidency of the South West. His arrest was attributed to political reasons that prevented him from running in the South West elections.

According to the then led President Farmajo Somalia federal government Mukhtar Robow had not met amnesty requirements for defecting Al-Shabaab militants and could not run in the South West presidential election. Thence subsequent arrest and detention with out trial.

Robow studied law at the University of Khartoum and taught Arabic in Mogadishu.* In 1996, he founded the first Islamist training camp in Somalia in al-Hudda, Bakool region.* In 2000, Robow traveled to Afghanistan and trained alongside al-Qaeda and the Taliban for approximately one year. It was there that he reportedly learned guerrilla warfare tactics and bomb-making skills, which he transported back to Somalia

In 2003, Robow and some other younger members of the Somali Islamist group al-Itihad al-Islamiya (AIAI) broke with the organization to form Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujhadeen, now known as as al-Shabaab. Robow was joined by future al-Shabaab leaders Godane, Aden Hashi Ayrow, and Ibrahim Haji Jama. Their stated goal was to establish a “Greater Somalia” state based on sharia (Islamic law).*

Robow is a Salafist who has sought to impose sharia beyond the borders of Somalia and to cultivate a closer relationship between al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab. Robow backed sending al-Shabaab forces abroad and has encouraged non-Somalis to join al-Shabaab in Somalia continue reading HERE

A heavily guarded Mukhtar Robow in his heyday as Al-Shabaab spokesperson. Google image

The now four years Saga of Mukhtar Robow, a former Al Shabab deputy commander has raised questions in Somalia about what to do with former militants and if they have a future in politics.

Dumbfounding is the fact that Mukhtar Robow was the government’s VIP guest after he surrendered,”. “He was enjoying government’s care, provided a luxury car with a security guard and was staying inside the National Intelligence and Security Agency’s (NISA) HQ.” reported TRT HERE