MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Somalia's government is offering amnesty to fighters with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

The government said in a statement following a Cabinet-level security meeting that it is giving al-Shabab militants up to 45 days to take up the offer.

Somali Security Minister Khalif Ahmed Ereg said the government "will create a better livelihood to build their future for those who meet the deadline."

The offer of amnesty comes after a U.S. airstrike that targeted al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, whose fate remains unclear.

And Somali forces, backed by African Union troops, last week launched an offensive on al-Shabab's last strongholds in southern Somalia.

Al-Shabab is believed to have thousands of fighters in its ranks, fighting to impose Sharia law on Somalia.