Somaliland: Commander Atam of Al-Shabaab Defects


Commander Atam at the Al-Shabaab Defection announcement press conference in Mogadishu

By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – The Wanton killing of innocent civilians and other non-combatants by Al-Shabaab has resulted in the defection of a senior commander.
Mohamed Saeed Atam the senior most Al-
Shabaab commander in the eastern parts of Somalia has defected to the Somalia Federal Government –SFG.
At surprise press conference in Mogadishu Commander Atam said
“Having been fed up with the “imprudent, brutal and dangerous ways” of the Alshabaab’s spiritual leader, Ahmed Godane, I have official defected from the group to the SFG”
Strongly accusing Godane his ex-boss and leader of Al-Shabaab a terror group purporting to promote Islam that is battling the SFG and AMISOM for control of Somalia, Atam said that he decided to defect after it became impossible for him, Atam, to carry out,
“Godane’s order to indiscriminately kill innocent civilians and the Ulima (religious leaders) that are contrary to Islamic tenets”

Golis range mts in Sanaag region of Somaliland from where Sheikh Atam commanded Al-Shabaabs operation in the East of somalia
Accusing Godane of severe and uncalled for brutality commander Atam said the abominable acts like killings inside mosques and those of innocent civilians on flimsy excuses have prompted his separation with Al-Shabaab.

As he strongly accused the group’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane of making acts contrary to the Islamic principles such as the indiscriminate killings of the Somali innocents as well as the Ulima of the people inside Mosques.
As such the ex – senior leader said he was “fed up” with the “imprudent, brutal and dangerous ways” of the Alshabaab’s spiritual leader, Ahmed Godane. Ex- Al-Shabaab’s defector stressed that the unforgiving brutalities made by Al-Shabaab militants has prompted him to defect from the group to the federal government of Somalia. He said this after he held a surprise press conference in Somali’s capital, Mogadishu.
According to Somalicurrent Saeed Atam who was welcomed by officials from federal government of Somalia urged youngsters who were misled by the Shabaab leader to run away from the group and said, “Defecting from Al-Shabaab militants is not a defection from the Islamic religion. Defecting from them won’t lead you to become “an infidel” or someone who converted from the Islamic religion. They said they are fighting for the Islamic Sharia rule, as the facts on the ground is far from this.”

Al-Shabaab child soldiers/file
Reconciliation entails negotiating peace deals by Somalia Federal Government with ex senior and influential leader Mohamed Atam who has been Alshabaab’s commander in chief in Galgala Mountains in eastern region of Sanaag where he has been in a fight with former Puntland president Farole’s led administration. His militia’s presence in Sanaag was the biggest security threat for both Somaliland and Puntland administration.
According to the UN Monitoring Group The ex – leader of Al-Qaeda affiliated militia Mohamed Saeed Atam is accused of having been Al-Shabaab’s chief arms-smuggler in Gollis hills of Sanaag region where he run all Al-Shabaab operations in both Somaliland and Puntland.
The most surprising element of the Atam defection is the choice of refugee, SFG in Mogadishu, which contradicts recent outburst by the president of the Somalia administrative region of Puntland Abdiweli Gaas that Atam’s operations were funded by the government of Somaliland.