- Somalia’s radical insurgent group, Al Shabab has warned against the deployment of foreign troops in the Horn of Africa state. A warning follows an appeal by the Transitional Federal Government for military back up to bolster the fragile government.
On Sunday, al-Shabab spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage warned the neighbouring countries that foreign troops will be killed.
“We tell you that our dogs and cats will enjoy eating the dead bodies of your boys if you try to respond to the calls of these stooges, because we wish to die in the way of Allah more than you wish to live,” he said.
More than 4,300 Ugandan and Burundian soldiers are already deployed in Somalia as part of an African Union (AU) force and are charged with protecting strategic sites such as the presidency, the port and the airport.
Ethiopia has rejected a request by Somalia for military support to fight insurgents, saying such an intervention would need an international mandate.
Ethiopian troops which backed Somali government in 2006 to oust the Islamists government withdrew from the country in January. It has also denied reports from residents near the Ethiopian border with Somalia that Ethiopian troops are already inside the country, but later confirmed its presence.
In May, insurgents launched a renewed offensive against the new unity government, made up of Islamists and secular politicians. But the fighting has grown even more intense in the past week. Among those who have been killed in recent days are the internal security minister, the chief of Mogadishu's police, and a former ambassador to Ethiopia.
About 300 people have been killed by fighting since early May, and the UN said over 122,000 people have been displaced from their homes. It further estimates that one third of the Somali population need emergency food aid.
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