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Somali politician urges Kenya not to withdraw its troops

01 December 2014, 09:26 Harrison Mbungu

Mombasa - Two years after Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) crossed the border in pursuit of Al Shabaab militants in Somalia, a senior politician from Somalia has urged Kenyan government not to withdraw its troops citing that the terror sect is still strong.

Abdurrahman Baadiyow, the Somali National Unity party chairman and presidential aspirant in 2016 Somali elections has said withdrawal of KDF troops from Somalia would be seen as a sign of defeat and may give Al Shabaab militia more strength to terrorize people.

Baadiyow, who was on a political tour in Mombasa to woo Somali people living in Kenya to participate in the coming 2016 national elections, said Al Shabaab has links with other terror sects like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram saying that Somalia will cooperate with the Kenyan government to fight this common enemy.

"Al Shabaab was born from Al Qaeda network and is still strong because they have not been flushed out,” said Baadiyow.

Kenyans have been asking whether it is prudent to keep the KDF in Somalia, especially considering the rising wave of terrorism in the country.

“Kenya Defense Forces are doing a great job in Somalia and withdrawing the troops will be seen as a sign of weakness especially this time when there is Al Shabaab threats in Kenya,” he said.

But President Uhuru Kenyatta has insisted that KDF's mission in Somalia will go on and that the deadly attacks at home would not make the Government to flinch and recall the soldiers.

Kenya is struggling with terrorism and radicalization of youth in various parts of the country. Last week, the government shut down four Mombasa mosques after it was discovered that they were conducting youth radicalization.

The Al Shabaab millitia which shares almost the same ideology with outlawed terror group Al Qaeda is an international security threat which according to the professor needs a comprehensive strategy to deal with.

Read Also: Kimaiyo, Lenku facing the boot over security lapses

Baadiyow, who in the last presidential election clinched third position, has had several foreign trips to Europe and Africa trying to woo Somali nationals in the Diaspora to participate in rebuilding of the war-torn nation.

He said the current Somali government is faced with critical challenges of Al Shabaab, piracy and poor governance that may take some time to address.

The politician, who is one of the most influential candidate in Somalia, has vowed to deal with radicalization of youth by developing a comprehensive strategy that will do away with breeding of terror cells in his country.

Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi on October 14, 2011 after gunmen seized tourists at the Kenyan Coast which the Government saw as a threat to the country's sovereignty.

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- MyNews24

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