The African Union (AU) has sharply
condemned Islamic insurgent attacks on a ship carrying logistics for its
peacekeeping troops (AMISOM) in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. The ambush
operations left at least three people dead. No group has claimed
responsibility, but the Islamic hardliner group al-Shabab vowed Wednesday to
attack any ship carrying military support for the AU mission. Described by
Washington as a terrorist organization, al-Shabab also warned it will soon
launch fresh attacks on AU troops in Somalia, promising to take over the
country and institute Sharia law. Major General Abdi Hassan Awale is the Somali
Inspector general of Police and was present during the attack. He tells
reporter Peter Clottey that without logistical support, it would be a big
challenge for Somali police to contain the threat posed by al-Shabab.
11:30 in the morning and I was there at the seaport when we got the attacks
from the Islamic insurgents. From 11:30 up to 4 o'clock, there have been eleven
attacks. Although there were casualties, so far as I know, there have been
three deaths and 11 wounded," said Major General Awale.
said despite al-Shabab threats to attack ships carrying logistical support for
the AU mission, there was no damage to the ship with the supplies.
said that they will attack the AMISOM shipment, but the ship carrying the
supplies to AMISOM had no damage after the attacks. The only problem was that
those workers at the seaport and the cargo carried by the Somali business group
carrying food and some items were affected," he said.
General Awale said it would be challenging to contain threats of an Islamic hardliner
group like al-Shabab.
know al-Shabab controls lots of places in this country including many regions
and districts. So it is difficult to control them, although with a national
plan and support from the government, we can control them. I believe that if
the Somali people welcome the reconciliation process as well as the election of
the new president, we can do something. I also think if the Somali force is
reorganized and logistics provided as well as training, I think that is the
only way to contain the problem coming from al-Shabab," Major General Awale
said without international support it would be difficult for Somali police to
provide adequate security in Mogadishu.
police first of all are in need of international community support, such as
financial and logistics, as well as other things. Without the assistance, I
think the police cannot do anything about al-Shabab," he said.
General Awale described the working relationship between the AU peacekeeping
mission and Somali police as refreshing.
cooperation between the police and AMISIOM is very good. We are working
together very well, but at the same time Somalia is a very big country, and
Mogadishu the capital is very populated. And the number of AMISOM, as well as
the number of police personnel, is very limited. So we cannot cover every place
in the capital unless we have more recruits and retraining, as well as
accompanied logistical supplies. I think we can deal with the threats of
al-Shabab since the group does not have a lot of members," Major General Awale
Al-Shabab has sharply
denied reports it is negotiating with the country's new President Sheikh Sharif
Sheikh Ahmed, saying it will never meet with him. The group says it is strongly
opposed to new government and vowed more attacks to take over the country.
Al-Shabab spokesman Sheik
Muqtar Robow Abu Mansur said that President Ahmed's government does not
implement Islamic law in the war-torn Horn of Africa country, and he warned
African countries considering sending forces to Somalia as peacekeepers that
they will come under attack from the group's fighters