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Al-Shabaab denies being ‘pushed out’ of many towns

25 February 2014, 13:02

Nairobi - Al shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Ali Dheere has dismissed hopes that the group would negotiate with the Somalia government following the appointment of Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed as the country’s new prime minister in December, 2013.

“The people we are fighting with is because of ideology. They want to colonise us. They want to erase our religion, our people and our land. Those people bring a new face every time. Every new person that comes into office works for them. So for that reason, they are no different to us,” said Dheere, adding that whomever the Christians bring, no matter their name or background, they will not negotiate with them because they have no decision-making powers.

“They have no powers to refuse or accept anything.  What you lose by force you return by force. We will not negotiate with anyone. The country is ours,” he said.

Several people, especially civilians have been injured and some killed in attacks that are carried out by the group in Somalia, but Dheere refuted claims that they were targeting civilians.

“We don’t kill civilians who don’t work for the apostate government. We protect them. We do not harm them,” he said.
He said they have a problem with those who work for the apostate government saying.

“Our stand is clear on such people, we will fight them and kill them anywhere we see them,” he said, adding that they will also kill anyone who supports the Christians.

He also rubbished claims that the group has been pushed out of many towns in Somalia because they had been defeated by the military.

“The towns you mentioned that al-Shabaab left, we did not leave because of a military defeat. If an army is defeated, their weapons are seized, their soldiers are killed, their deaths publicized. None of that happened. That shows al-Shabaab left those towns on their own accord,” he said.

According to him, their departure only shows a change of tactics and that the group won’t be finished.

“Somalia belongs to al-Shabaab. The land and the people are ours. We will not leave our land because of an enemy. We hope to be back in those towns as soon as possible,” he said.

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