Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) has announced that nine operatives from armed group al-Shabaab surrendered in Gedo region last week. Among then two key figures in the group in what is being viewed as a massive exodus of al Shabaab fighters from the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group.
The defections have further been fueled by the relentless air strikes as well the ground assaults by SNA and allied AU forces. The Somali government has reiterated its calls for amnesty to al-Shabaab defectors since the group was pushed out of the capital in 2011.
The development comes as security agencies across the country heightened security during the holy month of Ramadan. Somali Police force foiled inland explosive devices near the capital Mogadishu. Security agencies said minibus with explosives was intercepted by the security officers before it exploded.
Defections in al Shabaab o either the government side or rival Islamic State Somalia have on the rise since late last year as infighting within the ranks, ailing emir as well as discrimination of foreign fighters. Moreover, since the killing of Ahmed Ali Iman the leader of Kenyan fighters in al Shabaab earlier in the year fear and uncertainty has rocked the militants. The trajectory of defections can be expected to upsurge as intelligence indicate Kenyan fighters have been scramming back to avoid persecution.