There is another new and exciting revelation made this week by Uganda’s army spokesperson regarding his countrymen’s involvement in the rank and file of the notorious Somali militant group, Al-Shabaab.
Lt Col. Felix Kulayigye, Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) spokesperson, told a gathering of diplomatic heads of missions and religious leaders from Africa on a conference at the Africana Hotel in Kampala that several of the commanders of Al-Shabaab, who continued fighting the weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia are “in fact Ugandans”.
This admission comes a few weeks after the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea released its report that also accused Muslim Kenyans behind an extensive funding, recruiting and training of Al-Shabab rebels.
“Non-Somali Kenyan nationals now constitute the largest and most organized non-Somali entity within the Al-Shabaab group”, the report adds.
The report brought an example of a Kenyan called Ahmed Iman who was successful in recruiting 200 – 500 Kenyan forces to fight alongside Al-Shabaab and such loyalty apparently earned him a steady ascendancy to the ranks of Al-Shabbab command.
Some regional observers, however, said Ugandan and Kenyan national’s involvement with the al-Qaeda linked group is not something new. According to AFP news agency, the masterminds of the July 11 Kampala bomb attack are four Ugandans and one Kenyan.
They admitted before the public that they are indeed members of Somalia’s Islamist insurgent group Al-Shabab that has claimed responsibility for the double suicide blasts that killed 76 people, including 5 Eritreans and an Ethiopian.
What makes this whole story so funny is that, these countries, Uganda and Kenya, whose nationals are battling alongside Al-Shabaab against their own so called peacekeeping forces inside Somalia and also are willing to bomb their own people on behalf of Al-Shabaab, are indeed blaming other countries for alleged Shabaab support.
In recent days, they labeled all the accusations of Shabaab support on Eritrea, the one nation that has no bone in the fight. They even called a UN sanction on Eritrea while it was proven time and again by the UN itself that indeed it is those countries that need to be checked and sanctioned for supporting Shabaab. Eritrea is simply the perfect scapegoat.