Prime Minister Mohamed AbdullahiSomali forces are closing in on a top Kenyan militia fighting alongside the al Shabaab, the transitional government in Mogadishu said on Tuesday.
Transitional Federal Government and African Mission forces are pursuing the Kenyan believed to be heading one of the rebel group’s battalions still holed up in parts of the Somali capital, Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told the Nation in an exclusive interview.
“One of the top commanders of the al Shabaab is a Kenyan. We have made significant inroads into territories the militia previously held and we are sure we will overrun and capture them,” Mr Mohamed said.
The Premier also confirmed the presence of scores of Kenyan youths fighting alongside the militant group, which controls parts of the war-torn country.
He said government forces had already flushed out the insurgents from huge parts of Mogadishu, including foreign embassies and major installations
“We are aware of Kenyans who have been recruited by al Shabaab, but we will vanquish them,” he said.
The Kenya Police has in the recent past released pictures of dozens of youths believed to have joined the militant outfit, which is closely linked to international terror group al Qaeda.
Mr Mohamed said the transitional government had intensified its war against the militia.
“In the course of our battle against al Shabaab, we have undertaken alternative financial measures aimed at ending the violent insurgency,” the PM said.
He denied reports from sections of the Western media that the government could not account for millions of US dollars given by donors to fight terrorism, piracy and hunger, saying that a substantial amount of government revenue had gone towards combating the insecurity posed by al Shabaab.
“In terms of transparency, some of these measures are confidential and involve expenditure, which cannot be publicised for security reasons. My Cabinet is fully informed of these measures and supports them,” he said.
“As with all governments, certain intelligence and security matters are neither publicised nor the sources of their funding publicly disclosed.”
Mr Mohamed said that his government’s success against the terror group had come at a high price “both in human and financial terms”.
He criticised the Western media for portraying his government as corrupt and weak, terming a recent report “malicious falsehoods” peddled by international non-governmental organisations.
“The report is a total fabrication. It seeks to destroy the credibility of the government, which has succeeded in reclaiming huge parts of our country that had been taken over by the insurgents,” he said.
According to the report, the Somali government could not account for $70 million (Sh6 billion).
The report attributed the findings to the Public Finance Management Unit, a government body charged with overseeing the country’s financial management, which released a 22-page document accusing top government officials of stealing public funds. nation