Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenya has right to pursue al Shabaab - Somali PM

27 October 2011, 12:36

Mogadishu - Kenya has every right to pursue al Shabaab rebels in Somalia, but Somali government troops must be in charge of operations against the Islamist rebels, Somalia's prime minister said.

Kenya deployed troops inside the anarchic Horn of Africa nation 12-days ago in an offensive against al Shabaab fighters it blames for a series of kidnappings on its soil and frequent cross-border incursions.

Somalia's president cast doubt on his government's support for the incursion Monday. Wednesday, Mogadishu reiterated there was no deal with Kenya to send in its troops, but said the prime minister would now liaise with Nairobi.

"We support Kenya's operation inside Somalia because they support, train and provide other military support to our troops to defeat al Shabaab and we are very grateful to Kenya," Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said in an interview.

"But we have to understand one thing: Somalia has the lead, our military has the lead in all operations taking place inside Somalia," he said late Wednesday.

The Somali government has so far stopped short of asking Kenyan troops to leave and the prime minister's comments show the authorities appear to accept the incursion, which has the backing of Western allies supporting the Mogadishu government.

"My government supports any self defence action Kenya takes against al Shabaab. Al Shabaab has inflicted a negative economic impact on Kenya," the prime minister said.

"Kenya has suffered at the hands of al Shabaab who are Somali terrorists crossing from the Somali border to the Kenyan border. So, therefore, Kenya has the right to pursue them inside Somali and defeat them," he said.

East Africa's biggest economy has long watched its anarchic neighbour warily and its troops have made forays across the porous border in the past, but this month's assault marks the first concerted push to drive the rebels away from the frontier.

The recent kidnappings of Western tourists and aid workers from Kenya soil risk denting the country's lucrative tourist industry and hampering humanitarian support for more than 400,000 Somalis at a refugee camp in northern Kenya.

Al Shabaab has denied it is behind the kidnappings, saying they are being used as a pretext by Kenya to send its troops across the border.

Kenyan troops are advancing on several fronts towards al Shabaab strongholds alongside Somali government soldiers and allied militias in the region.

The Kenyan troops have taken several towns but have not yet had a major showdown with al Shabaab fighters, who are regrouping and bolstering defences at strategic points in the south of the Horn of Africa nation.

Kenya continued to deploy more troops to Somalia on Wednesday. Trucks laden with weapons, military and police officers from the capital and camps in central and northern Kenya were seen heading towards Somalia.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...