Kenya raises concerns Eritrea arming Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgency with secret flights

By Associated Press, Published: November 4 NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s foreign minister summoned Eritrea’s ambassador on Friday and “raised concern” over the possibility that planes from Eritrea are supplying weapons to Somali militants whom Kenyan forces

By Associated Press, Published: November 4

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s foreign minister summoned Eritrea’s ambassador on Friday and “raised concern” over the possibility that planes from Eritrea are supplying weapons to Somali militants whom Kenyan forces are battling in southern Somalia.

Moses Wetangula said if that is the case, Kenya has “a series of options” to deal with the situation. He did not say what those options include.

“I raised concern about intelligence that we have and information available that there is a possibility that arms supplies are flowing from his country to al-Shabab,” Wetangula said.

“Make no mistake, Kenya will do everything possible to make sure, one, that if it’s in our capacity, supplies to al-Shabab must be stopped,” he said.

Eritrea denied this week that it is arming fighters in Somalia, and Eritrea’s foreign minister is expected in Kenya shortly.

Kenya has said it believes three planes flew into southern Somalia over the last week with weapons meant for al-Shabab fighters. The military spokesman said Thursday that the military would shoot down or bomb on the ground any unidentified planes it believes to be supplying the al-Qaida-linked militants.

A July report by the U.N.’s Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea said that al-Shabab controls two large airports and one former military airport with asphalt runways. The report also said that illicit flights with weapons or fighters for Somali militants could be originating from Eritrea, Yemen or the United Arab Emirates.

The U.N. report said Eritrea consistently denies providing military support to armed groups in Somalia, but that “new information … not only confirms many previous allegations of Eritrean military involvement, but also offers firm grounds to believe that Eritrea still retains active linkages to Somali armed groups.”

Hundreds of Kenyan troops moved into southern Somalia last month after a spate of kidnappings by armed Somalis, though officials said the military incursion had been planned for months. Militants now face fighting on two fronts — from Kenyan forces in the south, and from Ugandan and Burundian troops in the Somali capital.

Al-Shabab has threatened to launch terrorist attacks in Nairobi in retaliation for the attacks by Kenyan troops.

Meanwhile, officials on Kenya’s coast indicated that Kenya’s Navy shot and killed seven men at sea, though three survived the attack. Relatives said the boat was full of innocent fishermen, though the military said the boat was full of insurgents.

Kenyan military spokesman Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir said the boat was told to stop for an identification check “but continued to approach the Kenyan Navy at high speed.” He said that some of the militants may have swam to shore and he asked the public to report anyone seeking medical treatment for bullet wounds.

A local government official, Richard Karani, said he was aware of the incident. He said three people from the boat had been arrested and the whereabouts of the other seven were still unknown.

A relative of one of the fishermen on the targeted boat, Said Abdulrahman, said the boat was attacked despite the fact the fishermen had alerted authorities of their whereabouts.

Chirchir also said the military believes foreign fighters inside al-Shabab have regrouped in the towns of Barawe and Marka and will try to flee to Yemen. He warned merchant ships against transporting fighters.

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7 COMMENTS
  • Weldit November 4, 2011

    Developing story:
    President Isaias Afewerki to send Foreign Minster Osman Saleh to Nairobi on Monday to cool down the rising tension between the two countries.

    • Huluf November 4, 2011

      Weldit,

      That is a madman scared to death…..cruel DIA……Dictators are cowards to others not their people, they cower to far away power….so sad….this is a man who has no respect to our martyrs some of them his own firends….so unhuman go no further (Papayo and his sitster , Petros and his wife….) I can not wait to see this evil human being’s demise……he is cornered and he thinks he has time to survive…..so long DIA….you have rendez-vous with Gadaffi …he is awaiting you…he is already bored.

      • Justice November 5, 2011

        I agree. This hyena DIA will follow Gedafi. He dont care about eritreans. PFDJ should be rooted out of eritrea. This party is a harmful virus to eritreans. Enough.

  • Abrhaley E't'iDne November 4, 2011

    Cooling down the rising tension is far more and beyond the pay grade of the poor Eritrean so called Osman Salih.

  • guest November 4, 2011

    Even down to earth Kenya is giving warning to DIA. I think he should go now because not only he is humiliating himself but also the nation as a whole. The name Eritrea become associated with horrible acts such as crossing the Siani, supporting shebab, organ sale and etc. Now Eritrea cover all the East African countries , I think it is his failed policy that puts the country in unending dispute with the neighbor. The UN amassador of Eritrea also give a funny response arming alshebabe instead of answering the questions. He is blaming the West and others interfering in Somalia affairs, first of all Eritrea is directly affected by crisis in somalia but it makes worse for the countries who have a common border and historical enmity with Somalia. Ethiopia has two wars, Kenya, and Djuboti also share common borders as a result have direct effect by what is going on in Somalia, and the absence of strong central government forced these nations to take measure by themselves when they are threatened. Why Eritrea needs to send food to Somalia while 80 % of its population starved? Why DIA puts his hands in Sudan, Yemen, Djuboti and Ethiopia. Eritrea is a small nation , should have a foreign policy which is based on non-interference and savy diplomacy rather than becoming rogue nation in the horn.

  • Barentu November 5, 2011

    This is taken from CNN. Egypt has become the center of organ theft and trafficking in the Arab world. The majority of the Eritrean prisoners under the Egyptian Beduines are victims of this theft. Very few Eritreans are arriving to Israel alive. Most of the Eritreans who are still in Beduine prisons do not know that even after paying money they are killed for body parts later.
    “Mobile clinics using advanced technology come from a private hospital in Cairo to an area in the deserts of Mid-Sinai and conduct physicals on the Africans before they choose those suitable, then they conduct the operation,” Al-Azazy said
    ” According to rights groups, refugees — from places like Ethiopia, Eritrea or Sudan — are enslaved and tortured and the women raped if they cannot come up with the large sums of money the Bedouin try to extort from them and their families to smuggle …

    Who is responsible Egypt or Isarel?
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/03/world/meast/pleitgen-sinai-organ-smugglers/

  • zeebekayo kelbi aynkeska November 8, 2011

    all off them Egypt ,israel and pfdj ofcours

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