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Kenya Seeks UN Support for Offensive Against Al-Shabaab Militia in Somalia

kenKenya will seek the support of the United Nations for its military offensive





Against the al-Shabaab militia group in Somalia, which it claims murdered




A British tourist and abducted four Foreign tourists and aid workers.



Kenya, which began the offensive on Oct. 16, also plans to seek the support of the Arab League and other Islamic states, Lindsay Kiptiness, an official at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters today in the capital, Nairobi.

“We are seeking the support of the United Nations Security Council on the possibility of enhancing the operations of Amisom to cover the whole of Somalia, and not only Mogadishu,” he said. The African Union Mission in Somalia, or Amison, is a peacekeeping mission operated by the AU in Somalia with a mandate from the UN.

Somalia, on Kenya’s northeastern border, hasn’t had a functioning government since the 1991 overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Al-Shabaab, which has waged a four-year campaign to remove the transitional administration, controlled most of southern and central Somalia.

Soldiers from Kenya, which has secured the support ofInter-Governmental Authority on Development member states and the East African Community, are now patrolling areas of Somalia freed from the control of al-Shabaab militants, army spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said in Nairobi today.

Pockets of Fighters

In the south of Somalia, house-to-house searches are continuing for remaining al-Shabaab fighters, clearing the way for deliveries of aid to civilians, while further north fighting is continuing with pockets of al-Shabaab, he said.

In the southern sector the Kenyan military has “full control of the sea including our territorial waters and beyond,” Oguna said, without elaborating.

Yesterday, a vehicle carrying khat, a chewable narcotic leaf, was attacked by Kenyan soldiers in the region, resulting in the deaths of four al-Shaabab fighters, he said. Since the offensive started last month, “hundreds” of members of al-Shabaab have been killed while the Kenyan army has suffered five deaths, Oguna said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:Paul Richardson on atpmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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