× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

African Union force denies it was involved in ex-al Shabaab leader's arrest

By Reuters | December 16th 2018

Former al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow attends a news conference in Baidoa, Somalia, November 4, 2018. [Courtesy]

African Union peacekeepers did not help in the arrest of a former al Shabaab leader that led to clashes in which 11 people were killed, the AU force said, following a report that Ethiopian members of the force had been involved.

At the same time, Somalia’s national parliament speaker, Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman, called for the release of Mukhtar Robow and the postponement of regional presidential elections in South West region, where Robow is vying for the post.

Somalia’s Internal Security Ministry said it arrested Robow on Thursday, accusing him of bringing Islamist militants and weapons back to Baidoa, the capital of South West region.

Robow’s spokesman had said he was beaten by Ethiopian troops, who are part of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, in the course of his arrest. Local elders and residents had also said Ethiopian troops had helped with the arrest.

“AMISOM had no part in the arrest of Mr. Robow and his subsequent transfer to Mogadishu,” it said, adding that the peacekeeping force will continue to respect the sovereignty of the people and the government of Somalia.

Robow, a former prominent al Shabaab insurgent and group spokesman, publicly renounced violence and recognized federal authority in August 2017.

His arrest triggered clashes between security forces and his supporters on Thursday and Friday that killed 11 people, including a regional government lawmaker.

The regional elections are a critical point in a growing power struggle between the U.S.-backed central government and regions where al Shabaab militants retain a presence following a long civil war.

“The South West election committee should postpone the election until there is a calm situation, free and fair, conducive for the election to take place,” Abdirahman said in a statement. “The arrested candidate should quickly be released and allowed to return peacefully to his area.”


Share this story
KBL launches pineapple flavoured variant
KBL has launched a new variant of Kenya Cane popularly known as KC as the firm seeks to stump its authority in the spirits market.
Restoring Nairobi’s iconic libraries
Book Bunk is turning public libraries into what they call ‘Palaces for The People' while introducing technology in every aspect.