Somalia: Al-Shabab says will retake control of Somali towns

Somali al-Shabab fighters have pledged to retake control of towns in the southern and central regions of the country, Press TV reports.

Addressing a large crowd in the city of Bardera in the southern Gedo region on Saturday, al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohammud Raghe said the recent capture of towns from his fighters should not discourage Somalis, promising victory in the long-run.

“We tell you don’t despair when you hear they have captured towns like Baidoa or Hudur, with all their forces…We will liberate our cities and towns from the invaders,” he said.

The al-Shabab spokesman said that world powers are jostling to get a share of Somalia, adding that neighboring countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, are being used as launch pads for military intervention into Somalia.

The report comes as Kenyan forces, which crossed the border into southern Somalia last October, are advancing in Gedo and Juba regions.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years and is propped up by thousands of African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.

Source: Press TV