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Somalia appeal

June 22, 2009

Authorities in Somalia have warned that insurgents are about to take control of the country. The government has declared a state of emergency and is appealing for urgent military help from neighboring countries.

gunmen take cover in battle in Mogadishu
Insurgents are trying to overthrow the governmentImage: AP

The dramatic appeal for urgent military help was made in the capital Mogadishu by parliamentary speaker Sheik Aden Mohammed Noor Madobe. He said that increasing attacks have weakened the government.

"Our forces can no longer withstand al-Qaida-backed insurgents. We need urgent military help from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Yemen in the next 24 hours," Madobe said.

So far, the four countries have not responded to Madobe's appeal. Madobe made it clear that al-Qaida fighters were fighting alongside the country's al-Shabab Islamist insurgents.

The past two weeks have seen the insurgents use suicide bombers to kill Somali cabinet ministers and top government officials.

"The Shabab have no objective. The only thing that they have achieved is to kill. Killing for killing. That is not a political agenda," said the African Union's special envoy to Somalia, Nicholas Bwakira.

Fighters come from all over the world

map of Somalia
Mogadishu has put out a call for military assitanceImage: DW

The insurgents have been recruiting fighters from Africa, from America, Bwakira said.

"Therefore we are sending a signal to the international community that these threats to peace and stability is a challenge and a threat to international peace and stability," he said.

Somalia's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Abdul Rahman Warsame, says that the foreign fighters are a threat not only to the lawless country, but to the region.

"Most of them are killing Muslim and Arab born. Those people are threats to the Somali government, are threats to the neighboring countries, are threats to international security and my government alone cannot stand against them," said Warsame.

The unpredictable and unstable situation in Somalia has prompted neighboring Kenya to tighten security along its porous border with the Horn of Africa nation.

Moses Wetangula Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister has confirmed that Kenya has increased security measures along it's border with Somalia.

"The government and the people of Kenya will make sure that the unfolding events in Somalia do not in any way undermine or affect our peace and security as a country," said Wetangula.

As Kenya stepped up its security, al-Shabab insurgents threatened to attack Kenya accusing it of amassing troops at its border with Somalia.

James Shimanyula/av
Editor: Trinity Hartman

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