AFP: Somalia chief says Al-Qaeda seeks growing African base

UNITED NATIONS — The head of Somalia’s weakened transitional government on Saturday accused Islamist insurgents of seeking to turn the war-stricken country into a base for Al-Qaeda to bring terror to the whole of the Horn of Africa.Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, whose western-backed administration only retains a shaky control of Mogadishu with African Union peacekeepers, appealed for greater international support including more troops to fight Islamists.”Somalia is a weak link” in the fight against international terrorism, the president of the transitional federal government told the UN General Assembly.Sharif told world leaders that Al-Qaeda was working with the Shebab militants who now control much of central and southern Somalia, which has been at conflict for more than two decades.The president said the activities of Shebab “turns the stomach of anyone with a conscience.””They are killing Somali citizens, cutting their throats, cutting off their limbs and they have carried out horrible crimes against humanity such as cutting off the heads of their victims and throwing them away,” he told the assembly.

AFP: Somalia chief says Al-Qaeda seeks growing African base

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