Africa Somalia extends Al-Shabaab amnesty by 65 days

Somalia extends Al-Shabaab amnesty by 65 days


President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud

(AA) – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on Monday extended by 65 days a promised amnesty for members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab movement who wished to surrender.

Speaking at a meeting with a group of army generals and government officials, the Somali president described the move as a “second opportunity” for members of the militant movement who wanted to give up their “terrorist” ways and turn themselves in to the government.

He said a military operation launched by the Somali military in cooperation with African troops against Al-Shabaab since March had made huge gains.

He said his government had recaptured important areas previously controlled by Al-Shabaab, including the port town of Baraawe in the Lower Shebelle Region in southern Somalia.

He said the town had been an important source of income for the Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Mohamoud called on government troops to redouble efforts to recapture other areas still controlled by Al-Shabaab.

For years, the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group has been fighting the central government in Mogadishu and African Union-led peacekeeping forces.

A long-troubled country in the Horn of Africa, Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

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