Clinton sends strong warning to Somali islamists

August 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The US government on Thursday said it will take action against the Somali militia group, Al-Shaabab if it doesn’t stop its threats of attacks.

Speaking at the US Embassy when she held discussions with Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Al-Shaabab intended to make Somalia a hub for terrorism and that will not be allowed to happen.

“US takes very seriously the threats Al-Shaabab poses first and foremost to the people of Somalia but also to the people in the regions such as here in Kenya. Their actions are unacceptable and we intend to take action if they do not cease,” she said.

She further warned Eritrea to stop sponsoring Al-Qaeda inspired insurgents turning the country into a terror hub.
"It is long past time for Eritrea to cease and desist its support of Al-Shaabab and to start being a productive rather than a destabilising neighbour," she said.

Mrs Clinton said the problem in Somalia was a great strain to neighbouring countries especially Kenya which has to deal with an influx of refugees fleeing into the country almost on a daily basis.

Kenya is taking care of over 300,000 Somali refugees a number that the government has said was straining its resources.
Mrs Clinton said stability of the war torn country was important not just for Somali people but for other regions including the rest of the world. She said US will continue supporting the Somali government and its President saying he was the sign of hope for restoring peace in the country.

“His government is the best hope we have had for a return to stability and a possibility of progress in Somalia,” she said.

The Secretary of State also appealed to the rest of the world to offer support to Somalia saying it had already demonstrated its willingness to cultivate peace.

She promised to continue with regular consultations with President Ahmed to support the restoration process.
President Ahmed also appealed for assistance to help Somalia recover from the war that has caused loss of lives and massive damage.

He said: "Somalia needs to have relationships in order to lift the Somali people out of the difficult situation we’ve found ourselves on."

He also said Al-Shaabab was abusing Islam to carry out criminal activates and also use it as an excuse to attack Somalis who do not support their actions.


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