By Jim Kouri
Somalia Transitional Government on Monday reported in a statement that the Islamic terrorist groups Al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda officially enacted a merger that’s sure to create more violence and suffering for the already war-weary and starving Somali people.
The Somali government statement came after the al-Qaeda terror network claimed that the Somali Al-Shabaab was officially joining al-Qaeda after years of being close allies.
Al-Qaeda’s top commander Ayman Al Zawahiri and the chief of Somalia’s Al- Shabaab group Abu Zubayr (a/k/a Ahmed Abdi Godane) were seen in a video posted on Islamist websites announcing the merger.
“We (the Somali government) also believe that their union will increase the insecurity in Somalia, East Africa and the rest of the world and that Somalia risks becoming an al Qaeda base in East Africa as the al Qaeda leader said in his statement,” the Somali government statement said.
The Al-Shabaab group, which controls much of south and central Somalia, is fighting Somali government forces as well as troops from the African Union. They have also fought troops from Ethiopia and Kenya.
A U.S. intelligence source told the Law Enforcement Examiner that he never doubted that Al-Shabaab had always been “a branch of al-Qaeda,” as evidenced by past pronouncements of the two groups’ respective leaders.
The Somali government called on the international community to stand by it and the Somali people, and asked for a UN arms embargo on Somalia to be lifted, saying it wanted to “defend the country and complete the achievements of the Somali army and African Union forces.”
The war-torn country requested help in the reinforcement of the Somali National Army and direct assistance to the Somali government to help it “fulfill its obligation to bring back peace and stability to the country.”
The Somali government stated that it was giving the Al-Shabaab fighters 15 days “for them to lay down their arms and live peacefully.”