Al-Shabab Tells Kenya To Pull Out Of Somalia, Threatens More Attacks
AMISOM daily media monitoring, 24 Jan 2016
The Al-Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group in Somalia has warned Kenya to pull its troops out of Somalia days after its fighters overran a Kenyan military base in southwestern Somalia in a complex attack, killing tens of soldiers. Al Shabaab claimed it killed more than 100 soldiers during the attack in El-Ade as fighters also looted military hardware, ammunition and vehicles.
“Despite earlier warnings, this is another one telling Kenya to pull its troops out of Somalia,” said Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s military spokesman on Saturday. He said that the group would stop attacks against Kenya once the east African nation ‘decides’ to pull its troops out of Somalia, warning that militants would step up attacks if Kenya keeps troops in Somalia. He also claimed that his fighters had taken 12 Kenyan soldiers hostage during the attack.
The Kenyan government is yet to officially release figures of the troops’ casualties from the Gedo region attack. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the attack has only renewed Kenya’s determination to destroy Al Shabaab, calling on Kenyans to stand shoulder to shoulder to face the ‘enemy’ of humanity. He delivered the speech during a visit to soldiers wounded in the attack a Nairobi hospital over the weekend.
In addition, Kenya’s former Prime Minister as well as the Opposition leader Raila Odinga added his voice to the President’s speech, urging soldiers to ensure that Al Shabaab and other terror groups are stopped at all cost. Odinga said the country must stand together and take the battle to the Al-Shabaab. Kenya sent troops into the neighboring Somalia in 2011 after a series of suspected Al-Shabaab raids and kidnappings of tourists in the country.