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Ex-Al Qaeda fighter is appointed as cabinet minister in Somalia

Tuesday August 2, 2022
By: Mohammed Omar Ahmed and Mohamed Sheikh Nor

Mukhtar Robow Ali, also known as Abu Mansur, in Mogadishu in 2017. Photographer: Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images

Somalia appointed a former high-ranking fighter of an Islamist-militant group affiliated to al-Qaeda as head of religious affairs in a new cabinet.

Mukhtar Robow Ali, also known as Abu Mansur and who once had a $5 million US bounty on his head, is a former deputy leader of al-Shabaab, which has been waging an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation for decades. He defected from the group in 2013 after a long-running dispute with its leader.

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre also appointed Elmi Mohamud as finance minister and Abdirisak Omar Mohamed to head Somalia’s petroleum ministry.


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