Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The supreme leader of the Somalia’s Al-Shabaab has accused foreign countries of destabilising the terror group as he sought to rally its leaders and fighters following reports of internal rifts.
Through a voice message on Tuesday, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who is better known as Sheikh Mukhtar Abdurahman Abu Zubayr accused countries like Qatar and Turkey of using divisive tactics to scatter the radical Islamist group.
“There are forces trying to divide the movement’s leadership and its fighters,” said Godane.
“Our enemy is employing negotiations and promises of positions (in the Somali government),” he said, adding that this included luring Al-Shabaab members through promises of pardons and the removal from terrorist lists.
“Countries like Qatar and Turkey as well former members of the defunct Union of the Islamic Courts (a movement that ruled most of Somalia’s southern and central regions in 2006) are key players in these divisive deeds.”
He warned the group’s leaders and fighters against giving the movement’s secrets away.
In June, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, one of the group’s top hardliners, defected from Al-Shabaab and remains in the custody of Somali government forces.
Infighting within Al-Shabaab, which is on the backfoot following a series of gains by AU and Somali troops, has led to the killing of top group officials.
Elsewhere the Somali government has signed a deal with a Dutch group to set up an effective Coast Guard.
The country has struggled to patrol its long shoreline and the Atlantic Marine and Offshore Group will help establish a unit capable of establishing the rule of law within Somali waters and its Exclusive Economic Zone.
The deal with Atlantic was signed Tuesday in Mogadishu by the country’s Defence Minister, according to a statement the Somali presidency.