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 Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More