The co-founder and former spokesman of the radical Islamist group Shebab, Mukhtar Robow, has been appointed as minister of religious affairs in the new Somali government, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre announced on Tuesday.
In Somalia, a former figure of the radical Islamist movement Shebab accedes to the government. Mukhtar Robow, co-founder and former spokesperson for the group, has been appointed to the post of Minister of Religious Affairs, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre announced on Tuesday (2 August).
The man, now 53, also known as Abu Mansour, had publicly defected in August 2017 from the movement he helped found, which for 15 years has waged an insurgency against the federally backed government. by the international community.
A time the object of a reward of five million dollars offered for his capture by the American government, the ex-spokesman of the shebab had broken in 2013 with the one who was then at the head of the insurrection, Ahmed Abdi Godane. He then took refuge in the region of Bakool (southwest), without however breaking completely with the Shebab.
In December 2018, he was arrested while running for president of the South West Federated State. The government, led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmajo, accused him of having “organized a militia” and of having “never renounced his extremist ideologies”.
He had since been under house arrest in the capital Mogadishu.
Appointed on June 15 by the new president, Hassan Cheikh Mohamoud, the Prime Minister, Hamza Abdi Barre, on Tuesday appointed 25 ministers, 24 ministers and deputy ministers of state in a government of 75 members in total.
He said at a press conference that he had “selected them on the basis of their academic background, their experience and their sense of fairness”.
Islamist insurgency and threat of famine
“I expect (from them) to respond to the needs of the country, with the hope that they will open a new path for Somalia and I am confident that they will implement the president’s grand vision and his program. of a Somalia at peace with itself and the world,” he added.
Many challenges await the government, which has yet to be approved by a vote of Parliament.
A country plagued by chronic instability, Somalia has been confronted for 15 years with the insurgency of Shebab, which remains firmly established in vast rural areas. They have taken advantage of the repeated crises at the top of the executive in recent months to intensify their attacks against the federal government and the security forces.
The country also faces the threat of impending famine caused by the worst drought in 40 years.
The last four rainy seasons since the end of 2020 have been insufficient and 7.1 million Somalis, almost half of the population, are in a situation of acute food insecurity, according to the UN.
This drought also displaced 918,000 people.
Source: France 24