Al-Shabab rally in Somalia where the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government is being proped up by the western-funded AMISOM military forces composed largely of Ugandan and Burundian troops., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Somalia: UK trying to ‘colonise Somalia’, say rebels
MOGADISHU — Somalia’s Al-Qaeda allied Shebab insurgents have slammed British efforts to address the multiple crises in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation as “another attempt to colonise Somalia.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a February 23 conference in London, gathering Somali and foreign leaders to find a solution to the civil unrest that has plagued Somalia almost without interruption since 1991.
However, Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said the “London conference is another attempt to colonise Somalia,” in a message posted online late Monday.
“It?s the imperious nature of the Brits that sees them meddling in Islam affairs in the hope of reviving a hopeless dream of a British Empire,” the Shebab Twitter website read.
“Britain must understand that the Muslims have long rejected British imperialism, and the futility of their renewed attempt is all too obvious,” the extremists added.
Decades of war and lawlessness have ruined Somalia, leaving it with no basic infrastructure, its people in deep poverty and a humanitarian crisis the United Nations describes as the worst in the world.
Earlier this month, British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited war-scarred Mogadishu, marking a new drive by London to address the country’s protracted crisis.
The Islamist Shebab rebels have been fighting to topple the Western-backed Somali government in Mogadishu, where the administration survives under the protection of a 10,000-strong African Union force.
Regional countries have recently increased pressure on the Shebab, with Kenyan troops battling the rebels in the south of Somalia since last October.
Ethiopia also sent forces to southwestern Somalia in November, the second such incursion in less than three years.
Somalia has lacked an effective central government since president Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991, unleashing cycles of bloody conflict that have defied countless peace initiatives.