By : Adan Diini
Different sources have confirmed that the most powerful rebel Islamist movement in Somalia (alshabaab) are in the brink of splitting into two rival groups, after sharp dispute broke out between two of their senior leaders who apparently had disputes over power sharing arrangements and the absence of clear Political Strategy within the movement, also disputes concerning allegations of cronyism and misuse of funds have been subsequently reported to be one of the crucial elements of this developing dispute.
According to government security sources, the dispute between the two leaders broke out after mysterious disappearance of senior Al’shabaab military leader believed to be foreigner; sources also suggested that he was killed at the hands of Amniyaat elements of Al’shabaab who took their orders directly from Godane.
According to valuable information conveyed by sources close to the islamists, the recent difference between Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubair (.a.k.a Ahmed Godane) and his deputy Sheikh Muktar Roobw Abu Mansur have reached breaking point, which could cause severe implications in cities controlled by the movement such as Kismayo and Baldwine and more importantly the capital Mogadishu.a according to reports Hiiraan (central Somalia) and Lower Juba (South) doubts and tensions are rising among al-shabaab leaders and fighters.
- Gunmen loyal to Shiekh Roobow are reportedly begun to withdraw secretly heading for the areas inhabited by Shiekh Robow’s clan (Rahanwein a.k.a Digil and Mirifle) in Bay & Bakool regions.
- This Step leaves Godne fighters in a dangerous critical condition due to the fact that they haven’t any remaining strongholds other than the Hawiye-clan dominated areas in south and central Somalia and Mogadishu it self.
- The lack of unity among Al'shabaab elements led to the recent Al'shabaaab's remarkable turn-back which can be obviously seen during the ongoing confrontations against the TFG and AMISOM troops in Mogadishu.
- Sources within the ismalists have confirmed that it appears that Al'shabaab fighters are suffering from disorder and uncertainty in thier ranks, thus, they are on defensive position contrary to their known habit in the fighting.
The leaders of Al'shabaab Differed several times since the establishment of the group in late 2007, Close-souces within the islamists are saying that the current dispute revolves around power and alleged systematic negligence by Godane of wounded Ah'shabaab fighters who said to be numbered in hundreds in Mogadishu alone.
This came as a final blow to the already tense relations between them. This controversy threatens to start the end of Al'shabaab Al Mujahedeen Movement as a single united movement.
It is difficult though to end the current dispute without the two leaders weakening each other, which in turn would weaken the unity inside this violent radical movement which refuses to engage in any negotiations with the fragile Somali government.
Ismamists sources whom I spoke with also said that the difference between the two men intensified when unification agreement between the two biggest insurgency groups was canceled unilaterally by Godane and his advisors(mostly forign fighters).
- This unification and standardization agreement was primarily concluded by the leaders of Hizbul-Islaam with Shiekh Roobow representing Al'shabaab's interests in this agreement.
- Under the Canceled agreement new Islamic Party with new name will emerge and Al'shabaab would take the newly formed party presidency position among other important military and financial positions.
- After the unilateral cancellation of the agreement, Sheikh Robow was angered and he was reported once saying that Godane is intended to undermine his influence and popularity among Al'shabaab fighters.
Moreover, new cracks appeared between the two men after Al'shabaab's failure to finish the weak TFG government during the holy month of Ramadan’s fighting (named by al'shabaab leader "The end of the aggressors"), Al'shabaab sent hundreds of fighters to the capital to overthrow the Somali government and force the African Union forces to leave, However, they failed miserably in that.
Powerful sources also confirm that most of the injured or died fighters in this offensive were of Digil & Mirifle Clan (a.k.a Rahanwein), which represents more than 60-70 percent of Al'shabaab's overall combat power, although they do not receive adequate attention.
The Clan's elders asked Sheikh Roobow to explain why their tribes men are in the front lines while most of the senior positions are dominated by people from north of Somalia(Somaliland), and why proper medial treatment is not given to their tribes men when they sustain injuries.
Observers had expected for some time that disagreement between the two men is immanent because of the sharp differences in their personalties, Shiekh Roobow is reportedly liked and admired by most of Al'shabaab fighters, While in contraray Godane is barely known by his fighters as he rarely unveils his face.
And he was never seen engaged in fighting activities along side his fighters. Shiekh Roobow however is well known for his violent adventures in dangerous front lines;
- also he publically enjoys finishing-off wounded government soldiers using small sharp knife he always carries around his whist,
- recently he has sustained minor injuries while engaged in bloody fighting against TFG and AMISOM.
Also in a relevant development, Hizbul-Islaam commander in Mogadishu said that he noticed rising numbers of Al'shabaab fighters trying to leave al'shabaab and asking to join Hizbul-Islaam but their request was rejected by Hizbul-Islaam leaders due to the sophisticated relation ship between the two insurgency groups,
also he suggested that Shiekh roobow's next move could be establishing new alliance with Hawiye-clan to create new Islamist movement which will be totally independent from Al'shabaab influence, also alternatively its very likely that if this disputes are not promptly contained it could lead to golden opportunity for Hizbul Islaam leaders who can use this opportunity to widen their organization at A’shabaab expense.
There are already rapidly spreading rumers in Mogadishu that Sheikh Robow and Shiekh Aweis of Hizbul’islaam have already met and discussed possible unity between their factions to form a large dominant Islamist movement in Somalia.
- It is believed though that the corner stone of this new strategy will be Al’shabaab members who hail from the influential Hawiye Clan.
- If they accept to be fully allied with Shiekh Robow and withdraw their recognition for Godane as the unquestionable leader of al'shabaab, this will accelerate the end of political and military influence of Godane among Al'shabaab fighters.
Shiekh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansoor is one of the top leaders of Al’shabaab, who had received military training in Al-Qaida and Taliban Camps in the early nineties. he is wanted by the C.I.A and the Ethiopian security for allegedly being involved in various terrorism activities.
He was dismissed from his post as Al’shabaab’s spokes man and was appointed as Sheikh Ahmed Godane’s Deputy although he remained practically inactive. By : Adan Diini firstname.lastname@example.org