News / Africa

Kenya, Somalia Request International Help to Fight Al-Shabab

Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (L) and his Kenyan counterpart Raila Amollo Odinga display the joint communique issued following their talks in Kenya's capital Nairobi, October 31, 2011.
Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (L) and his Kenyan counterpart Raila Amollo Odinga display the joint communique issued following their talks in Kenya's capital Nairobi, October 31, 2011.
Gabe Joselow

More than two weeks after Kenyan troops first crossed the border into Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabab militants, the leaders of the two nations are calling for backup. The prime ministers of Kenya and Somalia have signed a joint statement in Nairobi requesting international assistance to fight what they called a common enemy.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his Somali counterpart, Abdiwelli Mohammed Ali, have vowed their countries will work together to defeat al-Shabab. They say, however, they need more help from the international community to get the job done.

Odinga said, “Al-Shabab is a common enemy to all of us, and we would like to see that this menace is completely put behind us. We need international support in doing this because we would like to see that normal life return back to the Republic of Somalia.”

In terms of support, a joint statement from the two leaders called for additional troops from the African Union peacekeeping mission AMISOM.  

Currently, the force has about 9,500 troops based in and around Mogadishu, providing security in the capital for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, or TFG. Djibouti recently pledged to contribute another 3,000 or so troops to the mission.

The statement also called for “logistical and financial support” for a planned blockade of the Somali port city of Kismayo, a major al-Shabab stronghold and supply center.

Ali said liberating areas of southern Somalia is the first step to getting assistance to the people living there.

“And then after that, to deliver humanitarian services to the people who were denied relief aid by this terrorist organization and also, as the prime minister said, to deliver other basic services such as education, health, recovery, reconstruction and development, because they deserve it. They were denied this for the last 20 years,” said Ali.

Last week, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed indicated that he did not welcome the ongoing Kenyan incursion into Somalia to fight al-Shabab. But Ali insisted Monday that there is “no discord” in his government about the military operation, and said the TFG has taken the leading role.

Odinga also dismissed suggestions that this operation had been planned months or years in advance.

“We have not gone into this as a tea party. We have gone into this because of necessity. This is the first time in our history that Kenyan forces have gone outside our borders. The purpose is really to secure our own country. The cost to our economy has been great and rising,” said Odinga.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders says at least five civilians were killed and more than 40 wounded during an airstrike Sunday in southern Somalia.

The head of mission for Somalia, Gautam Chatterjee, told VOA that most of those killed and wounded were children, some of whom were being treated for cholera and malnutrition at clinics in the region.  

Kenyan officials have confirmed attacking an al-Shabab target Sunday, but denied responsibility for civilian deaths.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid