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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Turkish intervention in Somalia as selfish, says Al-Shabaab

By ABDULKADIR KHALIF

A Turkish aid worker carries a Somali child in al-Shabaab run Al-Yasir Camp located 50km south of the capital Mogadishu on September 12, 2011

The radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab has dismissed Turkish intervention in Somalia as selfish.

Sheikh Abdulkadir Mumin, a senior officer of the group opposing the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia, criticised the role of Turkey in Somalia saying their mission is to poison Somalis saying that the humanitarian foods and medicines brought to Somalia by Turkish agencies as expired ones. “They (the Turkish organisations) brought expired foods and medicines,” said Sheikh Mumin. “We warn the people from taking the stuffs.”

The cleric in charge of publicity for the group made the hostile remarks on Saturday through the movement’s mouthpiece, Al-Andalus. “Its (Turkish ) assistance is phony and driven by neo-colonial intentions,” added Sheikh Mumin.

Turkey is one of the first countries that responded to the plea to help the needy people in Somalia that were affected by the worst draught in 60 years. The country delivered the largest humanitarian goods in terms of foods, medicines and sheltering materials through governmental and non-governmental entities.

Regular visits

Following a high profile visit by Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his family and close aides in August 2011, Turkish government promised not only humanitarian but also development assistance to Somalia.

So far, the country is supporting several projects in Mogadishu. They include renovation of the city’s Aden Abdulle International Airport, schools, hospitals plus hundreds of Somali students offered scholarships in Turkey. Many other projects are in the pipeline according to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Bekir Bozdag who visits Somalia every two months to supervise the activities.

Last year, Al-Shabaab suspended or cancelled the operations of most of the aid agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP), the largest aid donor in the country, in parts of Southern and Central Somalia controlled by the fanatical movement. Last week, the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were stopped by Al-Shabaab militants.

Source: Africa Review

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