News / Africa

UN Adviser: Somalia Violence Threatens Horn of Africa

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Dr. Mustapha Ali, an adviser to the United Nations on the conflict in Somalia

Peter Clottey

An adviser to the United Nations on the conflict in Somalia warns the country’s ongoing crisis is encouraging terrorism activities in Kenya and other neighboring countries, which he says could destabilize the entire Horn of Africa region.

Mustapha Ali, who is also the secretary-general of the African Council of Religious Leaders, says Kenyans are expressing concern after police named 11 suspects under investigation for terrorism activities.

“It seems that the goings on in Somalia and across to the Kenyan border is now spilling over in terms of the people who do not mean any good in the country,” said Ali.

“After the bombs that went off in Kampala [Uganda], it is clear that there were some Kenyans who were involved in the planning and carrying out of the actual attack," he said. "There is a high likelihood that people who have been trained in Somalia could still pose a great danger to Kenyans.”

The suspects, police say, are linked to the Somalia’s hard-line insurgent group, al-Shabab. The group has been fighting African Union forces, as well as the national army, to overthrow the internationality-backed Somali Transitional Federal Administration.

The group has often threatened to unleash terror attacks in Kenya.

Ali says the entire Horn of Africa region could be threatened if the ongoing crisis in Somalia is not quickly resolved.

“It is very clear that al-Shabab poses a great risk to Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Ethiopia, particularly Uganda and Burundi, those countries that have sent forces to the African Union Peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu [Somalia],” said Ali. “There is a need to engage in dialogue with the [Somali] Transitional Federal Government and other anti-peace elements in Somalia. Without that, it is going to be very difficult to resolve the issues. One of the key issues is to resolve the Somali [instability] issue; that is the problem and it is going to cause problems across the Horn of Africa in the coming years.”

Ali also says some Kenyans do not hold confidence in the ability of the police to apprehend and prosecute the suspected terrorists.

“Kenya has professional intelligence service and they have been doing some good work in the past in apprehending the suspected terrorists. [But], I still have my doubts, though, about the hard approaches that have been used to apprehend the would-be terrorists,” said Ali.

“I will always recommend [a] soft approach, aside from addressing the problems in Somalia. We must find ways to ensure that the young people are not radicalized, they are not indoctrinated and continue to join the ranks of al-Shabab in Somalia and in the region,” he said.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs