October 08, 2020
FILE – Former al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow attends a news conference in Baidoa, Somalia November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
MOGADISHU – A political party headed by former Al-Shabaab number two Mukhtar Robow has been given the greenlight by the electoral commission to take part in electoral politics in Somalia.
The National Independent Electoral Commission chair Halima Yarey Wednesday awarded interim certificate of registration to Justice Party led by Robow alias Abu Mansour.
The commission also awarded interim certificates to five other political parties taking to close to 60 the number of political parties since approved by the commission.
Robow was among the founding members of the militant group Al-Shabaab and deputized its leader Ahmed Godane before a fall out in 2013.
He is currently under house arrest in Mogadishu.
He was forcefully arrested in Baidoa in December 2018 and moved to Mogadishu ahead of then presidential elections which he was seen as among the likely winners.
Robow surrended in mid 2018 under a negotiated deal with the Federal Government and the US subsequently withdrew the $5 million bounty on his head.
Under the newly negotiated electoral deal, political parties will not be taking part in the parliamentary elections owing to retention of the clan-based formula.