Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Shabaab urges Somalis to battle Ethiopia

11 March 2014, 09:35

Mogadishu - The leader of the al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist group al-Shabaab has urged Somalis to wage holy war against Ethiopia, Somalia's Horn of Africa neighbour whose forces are preparing to lead an African Union offensive against the militants.

Ethiopia fought an ill-fated war in Somalia in 2006-09 but sent troops back in 2011 to fight al-Shabaab. In 2013 it became part of Amisom, a 22 000-strong AU peacekeeping force that includes troops from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone.

Ethiopian forces have in the past two weeks pushed al-Shabaab out of several towns, including Hudur, the capital of the Bakool region in south-central Somalia. Analysts say these advances could presage a planned countrywide offensive.

In a recorded voice message released on Sunday, Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu al-Zubayr, said Mogadishu's Western-backed government and Ethiopia were acting at the behest of the United States and would be defeated.

"Somalis, your religion has been attacked, your land divided, your resources looted directly and indirectly through the puppet government - our victory lies in Jihad [holy war]," Godane said in a recorded message, pointing to the historic rivalry between mainly Christian Ethiopia and Muslim Somalia.

Godane said landlocked Ethiopia had invaded Somalia in pursuit of access to Somalia's Indian Ocean coastline. The two countries fought a war in 1977-78.

"Ethiopia will fail as it has failed in the past and the Muslims will be much stronger," Godane said.

His last public statement came in September when al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a deadly raid on a luxury shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Aim of the invasion

Somali gunmen tossed grenades into busy restaurants and executed well-heeled shoppers as punishment for Kenya's military involvement in Somalia. At least 67 people died.

"The aim of the [foreign] invasion is to divide the remaining Somalia between Kenya and Ethiopia under the cover of the establishment of Somali states," Godane added, a reference to the creation of a federal Somalia.

Godane in 2013 purged most of his rivals within the al-Shabaab leadership after almost two years of wrangling over ideology, strategy and tactics.

Former Somali cabinet minister Abdirashid Hashi, now the deputy director of the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, said Godane's message was an attempt to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the 2006-09 period when many Somalis at home and abroad opposed Ethiopian troops.

But Hashi said al-Shabaab's bombing campaigns and killings of civilians had made many Somalis uneasy about the militants.

"With the way al-Shabaab have been conducting themselves over the last couple of years, I think it will be very difficult for Godane to create the kind of mood that there was in 2006," Hashi said. "A lot of Somalis are more worried about him and his policies."

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...