al-Shabaab fighters during a military exercise in Somalia
It was last week announced that British personnel will be sent to besieged East Africa to provide support for the peacekeeping effort, which is currently seeking to end two decades of chaos and violence from al-Qaeda splinter group al-Shabaab.Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to deploy up to 70 troops and experts into Somalia, while another 300 troops are due to go to neighbouring South Sudan.Somalians, along with those from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea, make up about two thirds of migrants desperately seeking refuge in Europe from the war ravaging their homeland.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, an al-Shabaab spokesman issued a stark warning earlier today.Speaking in a radio broadcast, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said: “We hope we shall see the beheaded bodies of whites.”The statement branded Britain “an enemy to Muslims” and accused the country of trying to colonise Somalia.
He added: “We shall welcome British forces with fire and you will see their dead bodies displayed on the web pages.”
al-Shabaab has been causing destruction in Somalia
al-Shabaab militants practising with their weapons
Last week Mr Cameron said the move to send the troops would help to bring “security and stability” to East Africa, which in turn would end up making Britain safer, and would help reduce the number of people from the region becoming migrants.He said: “Britain will take very great care to ensure the security and safety of our troops.“What happens in the outcome in Somalia, if it’s a good outcome, that’s good for Britain – it means less migration, less piracy and ditto South Sudan.”
The Prime Minister announced that British troops will be sent to Somalia last week
A spokesperson for the British High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, declined to comment on the al-Shabaab broadcast.AMISOM, the African Union’s force in Somalia, has been battling al-Shabaab alongside the Somali army by pushing the rebels into increasingly smaller pockets of territory.Tensions have been particularly high in recent years, with the terror group having carried out an attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2013 which left more than 60 people dead.