Al-Shebab extends Uganda-Burundi threats abroad

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Al-Shehab, the notorious Somali Islamist rebel group, will strike Ugandan and Burundian targets around the world. The announcement which was made Friday seeks to clarify recent threats from Somali insurgents since the African Union’s July 27 decision to strengthen its mission in the stateless Horn of Africa country.

Somali Islamist rebels have decided to attack Ugandan and Burundian embassies, Intel Center, an Islamist monitoring website, announced Friday according to AFP. In a video recording, Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, an al-Shebab spokesman, called for “for attacks against the embassies of Uganda and Burundi around the world”.

Burundi and Uganda are the main contributors to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) with 3500 and 2500 men, respectively. This is not the first time that the Somali insurgents have threatened the interests of the two countries. Ahmed Abdi Godan, al-Shehab’s chief militia, had called on Somalis to unite to expel the Amisom on July 5.

Al-Shebab rebels, who have pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda, want to destabilize the government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a palliative to the two-decade long absence of state in Somalia. The Amisom is vital to its survival.

At the last summit of the African Union, which ended July 27 in Kampala, Uganda, African heads of state pledged 4000 more soldiers to reinforce AMISOM forces. The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), composed of six countries in East Africa, is expected to deploy 2000 men whilst Guinea has said that it was ready to send 800 soldiers.

From local to international terrorist fears

The strengthening of AMISOM follows the July 11 twin bombings in the Ugandan capital. The attacks killed at least 76 people who had gathered to watch the World Cup final.

A Ugandan court Friday charged three Kenyans for their involvement in the bombing. Agad Hussein Hassan, 27, Adan Mohamed Abdow, 25 years and Magondu Idris, 42, were charged with 89 offenses including 3 counts of terrorism and 10 of attempted murder. They will remain in custody until their next court appearance on 27 August.

Uganda, which has pledged to provide most of the reinforcements, has become the leading target of al-Shebab outside their country.

The Islamists have also vowed to turn Mogadishu, the Somali capital into the graveyard of the new AMISOM recruits. “The extra troops they said are planning to send here will not be different from those they deployed before. By the will of Allah, Mogadishu will be their graveyard, while their families will cry back home,” threatened a rebel spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamoud Rage.

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