Somalia: former al-Shabab leader appointed cabinet minister

Somalia: former al-Shabab leader appointed cabinet minister

Former deputy leader and spokesman of Al-Shabab Islamist militant group, Mukhtar Robow, has been appointed religious affairs minister in Somalia’s new government.

The former militant leader had been under house arrest for four years. He was detained during the previous president’s term for organizing a militia. He was also accused of not giving up on extremism.

More than 20 people were killed when violence erupted after his arrest.

He split from al-Shabab in 2015 citing ideological differences and formed his own militant group.

Many analysts see his appointment as a way to cover up crimes committed while he was part of the al-Qaeda affiliated group.

Al-Shabab, which is opposed to the internationally backed federal government, carries out frequent attacks in Somalia killing thousands.

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