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Thanks for giving an interview to Somalia Report, what is your name and your title inside your militia?
My name is Daahir Mohamed Ali, and I am a deputy commander of the defense forces in Galgala area.
We heard that Galgala militia aligned itself with al-Shabaab, according to spokesman Yasin Kilwe – and then days later we heard that they are seperate. Can you explain?
Really, this is a kind of propaganda – the Galgala militia do not have any link with al-Shabaab or any other militia group, but there is a small group who break away from us, after we disagreed with joining al-Shabaab or other armed militia in Somalia. They are not a large group, and Yasin Kilswe is their spokesman, not for the Galgala group as a whole.
Also the Galgala group is still fighting to defend our land. We are not al-Shabaab and we don’t have good relation with al-Shabaab or other terror groups in the world, because we are a local armed militia who defending their land from Puntland authorities which is digging up our mountains for minerals.
After we rejected to allow Puntland use of our land, they are now playing at another policy, which is to label us as terrorists.
How many fighters break away from you and joined al-Shabaab?
They are very small faction, not more than 100 men and most of them are not happy to join al-Shabaab.
And how many fighters still remain in the Galgala militia?
The rest of our men are with us and all the locals of this region support us. I don’t want to tell you our exact number, but we are much more than those who seperated from us.
What other factions make up the group under Atom?
No, only that small group that broke out from us.
Where is Sheikh Atom right now?
He followed with the small group, now he is not in the region. He doesn’t have good relations with us, because as a group, we refuse his idea to join al-Shabaab, so he went to Kismayo, as last I heard.
What is your plan now, because some of your friends announced that they joined to al-Shabaab?
The residents of this region know that we are the real group and not joined to al-Shabaab or to any other militia in Somalia. Our elders also have talked with us and we told them that we are not al-Shabaab, we are just a local clan militia defending their region.
Thank you for this interview.