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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shabaab's Abdiqani Mohamed Threatnes to Invade Kenya

A senior member of Somalia's Islamist insurgent movement al Shabaab threatened on Thursday to "invade" Kenya if it did not thin its military presence on the two east African neighbours' border.

The rebels, who control parts of south Somalia close to Kenya, have long resented Nairobi's support for the Western-backed government in Mogadishu.

Fearful of flows of people and arms across its border, and mindful of past attacks in the region planned from Somalia, Kenya keeps a heavy military presence in its remote north.

"We shall invade Kenya if it does not stop its military movement along the Somalia-Kenya border towns," said Sheikh Abdiqani Mohamed, vice-governor of the southern port of Kismayu which al Shabaab captured in mid-2008.

"We cannot bear the aggression of Kenya. What is its military doing near Dhobley and our other towns in southern Somalia?" he told Reuters. "If Kenya does not stop this, our troops will cross
the border and fight inside their country."

Al Shabaab controls some areas of Mogadishu and is resisting a push by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's security forces to chase its fighters out of town. In the provinces, it is fighting a pro-government moderate Islamist militia, with towns and territory often changing hands between the two sides.

Kenya's government has sought to reassure citizens and expatriates amid fears of strikes in Nairobi, and security warnings circulating among foreign diplomats.

Noting the deteriorating security situation in Somalia, Foreign minister Moses Wetangula said on Wednesday diplomatic police were on "high alert."

The Rest @ The Nation ( Kenya)

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