Somalia: Al-Shabaab releases ‘graduation video’ for its fighters

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab has released a video allegedly showing a graduation ceremony for its fighters at an undisclosed location believed to be in central Somalia.

The militant extremist group alleges that the graduation was for foreign fighters from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

The video shows several masked young men in military fatigues goose-stepping as they carry automatic weapons. The Al-Shabaab banner is clearly visible in the background.

Al Shabaab spokesman, Ali Dhere appears to be in the video as well.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has vowed to bring the fight to the militants. He has offered Al-Shabaab fighters a 6-month ultimatum, either defect from the militant group and receive training and education or face the offensive.

Al-Shabaab is currently battling the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Forces (AMISOM) since being ousted from the capital Mogadishu in 2011.

The group has called the government’s ‘puppet state’ and dismissed government leaders as ‘infidels’. The Al-Qaeda-linked militants control swaths of territory in central and southern Somalia and have staged frequent attacks against civilian and government installations.