Somalis protest against more foreign troops

Regional states promised 2,000 extra troops for Somalia's government.

Somalis protest against more foreign troops


Hundreds of Somalis including women and children marched through the town of Kismayu on Wednesday, protesting against plans to increase "peacekeeper" numbers.

Regional states promised 2,000 extra troops for Somalia's government.

"A 10-year-old boy loyal to al Shabaab forced me to park my car and follow nearly a thousand people wielding placards with slogans opposing the decision to send troops to Somalia," one Kismayu resident who did not want to be named said.

Witnesses said similar marches had been held across central and southern Somalia.

Al Shabaab has spearheaded a three-year insurgency against the almost powerless Western-backed government.

"Now even the elderly will not be spared from taking up arms," another resident said.

"We call upon the Muslim people to join the jihad against the so-called IGAD members ... who are our enemies. We will attack them before they attack us," al Shabaab commander Sheikh Bali told a crowd in Kismayu.

On Monday, IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) members -- Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti -- pledged to increase troops numbers to over 8,000 but said they eventually wanted 20,000 troops in Somalia from the African Union and United Nations.

Up to now the AU AMISOM force, based in the capital Mogadishu, has been able to do little more than shield the presidential palace and guard the city's port and airport.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2010, 12:03

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE