Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Somali warlord quits Shabaab extremists

09 June 2014, 08:13

Mogadishu - A notorious Somali warlord allied to the Islamist Shabaab and on the UN sanction lists has agreed to quit the extremists, the information ministry said on Saturday.

Powerful arms dealer Mohamed Said Atom, who is under the UN Security Council sanctions for "kidnapping, piracy and terrorism", has been a close ally of the al-Qaeda linked Shabaab.

But a government statement on Saturday quoted Atom as saying he had left the Shabaab, accusing Islamist chief Ahmed Abdi Godane of working for a "foreign agenda."

"I would like to declare that as of today I have decided to resolve my religious and political issues through peaceful means and understanding," Atom said, according to the government.

Atom, as well as Shebab insurgents, have long operated from the rugged Golis mountains in the northern autonomous Somali region of Puntland, that forms the very tip of the Horn of Africa.

His defection will be a blow to the Islamists, who have lost a string of towns to a 22 000-strong force of African Union troops fighting alongside the government.

Compassionate religion

Atom on Saturday said the Shabaab were fighting against Islam.

"Islam is a compassionate religion... they [Shabaab] deliberately kill Somali people who are Muslims," he said, according to the government statement.

Atom said Shabaab fighters did not care for the ordinary people "whom they starve by blocking the relief assistance from generous Muslims and non-Muslims," the statement added.

The Shabaab remain powerful and continue to launch regular guerrilla assaults inside Somalia, as well as attacks including shootings and bombings in regional nations backing the AU mission.

Somalia's information ministry said in a statement it hoped Atom's "brave step inspires others to follow his example and embrace peace and unity".

Somalia's central government has "consistently offered" Shabaab members "who have realised the error of their ways and who renounce violence, the opportunity to reintegrate with Somali society and guarantees their safety," it added.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...