[Dehai-WN] (Garowe Online): Al Shabaab insurgent chief's public outcry as Ethiopia intervenes in Somalia again

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2012 13:07:35 +0100

Al Shabaab insurgent chief's public outcry as Ethiopia intervenes in Somalia
Jan 2, 2012 - 11:19:46 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia Jan 2, 2011 (Garowe Online) - The leader of Somalia's Al
Shabaab insurgent group, Ahmed Abdi Godane, has issued a public outcry as
Ethiopian troops seized control of a key town in central Somalia, Radio
Garowe reports.

Speaking on Radio Andulus, Al Shabaab mouthpiece in south-central Somalia,
Mr. Godane said regions in Somalia controlled by Al Shabaab are now "under
full attack."

Godane said: "The invasion of regions under our [Al Shabaab] control was
planned long ago. Foreigners have trained Somali mercenaries and anti-Islam
countries like Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia have invaded
our country."

He condemned the leaders of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of
Somalia for "welcoming" foreign troops into the country.

The Al Shabaab leader, who is rarely seen in public and rarely gives
interviews, expressed his concerns about military movements in Hiran region
of central Somalia, where Somali local forces backed by Ethiopian troops
seized the capital Beledweyne on Dec. 31, 2011. Over 20 people were killed
during the battle for Beledweyne, local sources reported.

Godane also condemned the U.S. and Kenyan militaries for air strikes in
southern regions of Somalia. It was the first public outcry by the Al
Shabaab leader since Ethiopian troops returned to Somalia for the first time
since withdrawing in Jan. 2009.

'Ethiopia assisting Somali forces'

Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon told reporters in Addis Ababa
that Ethiopian troops deployed in Somalia following a request from the TFG
in Mogadishu.

"The IGAD countries have agreed on our [Ethiopia] move to assist Somali
partners. We are in Somalia to assist the TFG. The TFG leads military
operations and we assist," Mr. Simon said, adding that Ethiopia was "not
ready" for a long-term military deployment in Somalia.

Between Dec. 2006 and Jan. 2009, Ethiopian troops controlled major towns
south-central Somalia, including Beledweyne, Baidoa, Jowhar and Mogadishu.
When Ethiopian troops withdrew in early 2009, an African Union peacekeeping
force known as AMISOM remained in Mogadishu to bolster TFG stabilization

Al Shabaab insurgents linked to Al Qaeda have controlled most of
south-central Somalia since early 2009, but since partially withdrawing from
Mogadishu in August 2011, Al Shabaab insurgents have steadily lost control
of key towns.

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