Somalia arrests ex-Islamist militant running for regional presidency

Source: Reuters

BY Abdi Sheikh

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia arrested on Thursday a former Islamist militant who seeking election as a regional president, sparking clashes between his supporters and security forces.

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FILE PHOTO: Former al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow attends a news conference in Baidoa, Somalia, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Feisal Omar/File Photo

The arrest of Mukhtar Robow in an area where al Shabaab militants retain a presence after a long civil war heightened tension between Somalia’s central government and semi-autonomous regions where elections are scheduled over the coming months.

The Internal Security Ministry in Mogadishu said its forces had arrested Robow on the suspicion that he had brought militants and weapons back to the southern city of Baidoa, the capital of South West region where he is running for president.

The ministry asked Robow to denounce “his ideology of terrorism…and support the federal government of Somalia”.

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