Al-Shabab tells AU forces to leave

Sunday November 07, 2010 - 22:42:11 in News In English by Xarunta Dhexe
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    Al-Shabab tells AU forces to leave

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Al-Shabab fighters have called on the 6100-strong African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Somalia to withdraw or to expect a new round of attacks.

“Al-Shabab will attack the Burundian capital city of Bujumbura and the Ugandan capital of Kampala to take revenge for Somalis killed by the peacekeepers in Mogadishu,” the Kenyan newspaper the Daily Nation quoted high-ranking al-Shabab official Sheik Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, who is also known as Sheikh Fuad Shongole, as saying in the Somali capital on Friday.

He also warned that Burundians and Ugandans would pay a price for the presence of their countries' troops in Mogadishu, and accused them of killing women and children.

“Those who killed our children and forced our mothers to wear mourning dresses, bombarding the city with fire from mortar and other guns, should know that they will have their turn to cry as happened before,” Sheikh Fuad Shongole warned.

The African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia is struggling to hold back al-Shabab fighters and to keep Somalia's besieged government in power.

The latest report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says thousands of civilians have been injured in recent months in clashes throughout the country in the Horn of Africa.

The Geneva-based humanitarian institution said that a total of 5,000 patients with war injuries, including 1,900 women and children, were admitted to Mogadishu's Keysaney and Medina hospitals from January through September.

Compared to last year, it is an increase of 25 percent in the total number of war casualties and 72 percent in the number of war-wounded women and children admitted to the hospitals.

Some 4,000 patients with war injuries, among them 1,100 women and children, were taken to Mogadishu's two referral hospitals in 2009.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Over the past two decades, up to one million people have lost their lives in fighting between rival factions and due to famine and disease.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. More than 300,000 IDPs are sheltering in Mogadishu alone.

Most of the displaced live in poor and degrading conditions in makeshift camps in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Akhrise hoos kadhiibo fikirkaaga

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