Southwest state warns electoral delegate against meeting with Al-Shabaab

The authorities in the Southwest state of Somalia have warned traditional elders and electoral delegates against having a meeting with al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab had called on elders and delegates who participated in the selection of the country’s lawmaker during the past elections to meet with a group.

The group ordered the clan elders to “repent” within 45 days or face targeted killings by the group fighters.

During a meeting with traditional elders and officials from the security agencies, Mahad Abdirahman Adan, Southwest police Commissioner urged the elders defy the order the group saying abiding by al-Shabaab directive would be a way to express sympathy for the group.

“We need to cooperate with the security officials in the operations to annihilate the group and its missions. You are needed to help us to establish security in this state,” said the commissioner.

Abdirahman vowed to take action against the individuals found guilty of meeting with al-Shabaab.

“Any person found of visiting al-Shabaab controlled areas will return to Baidoa town. They will be prosecuted for cooperating with terror groups,” he vowed.

The federal government and some of the regional states have previously jointly vowed to take legal actions against the locals seeking redress in Al-Shabab courts.

Al-Shabab which once controlled most of central and southern Somalia has lost nearly all of its territory over the last ten years to AU and Somali government forces.