Kuna hii taarifa ktk gazeti la leo la New Vision ambayo nimeikuta kule Bongo Pix kuwa wabongo wanasajiriwa na Al Shabaab kuiangusha serikali ya Somalia. Je kuna ukweli wowote? Serikali yasemaje kuhusu hili? UGANDANS are among the foreigner militants fighting alongside Al Shabaab to overthrow the Somali government, the African Union Mission in Somalia has said. The AU special representative for Somalia, Wafula Wamunyinyi, also listed Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, America, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan as countries where Al Shabaab has recruited. Speaking at the opening of a confidence building workshop for the Somali peacekeeping mission, dubbed AMISOM, yesterday, Wafula pointed out that the presence of Al Qaeda in Somalia is real and the world should be put on notice. He observed that the managers and operational commanders of Al Shabaab belong to Qaeda. If we dont put our hands together, Al Qaeda will take over Somalia considering the grip they have on the country, Wafula said. With the involvement of foreign fighters, we need to adopt a new approach towards the conflict in Somalia, away from the perception that these are clans fighting. The special representative informed the workshop at Speke Resort Munyonyo that Al Shabaab has established training camps with Al Qaeda. With Al Qaeda training, you know what to expect, suicide bombings and kidnaps, he noted. The AU official said Al Shabaab foreign fighters are estimated to be 1,200, half of whom are said to be Kenyans. Wafula listed the foreigners holding important positions within Al Shabaab as Sheikh Mohamed Abu Faid, a Saudi Arabia born who is the financier and current manager of the group, while Abu Musa Mombasa is the head of security and training operations. Mombasa reportedly arrived recently from Pakistan to replace Saleh AIi Nabhan who was killed in US military operations. Abu Mansur Al-Amriki, an American, heads the finance and payroll department of the foreign fighters, while Mohamoud Mujajir, a Sudanese, is in charge of recruitment of Suicide bombers, he said. Also on the list is Ahmed Abdi Godane, an al-Qaeda graduate from Afghanistan, and Abu Suleiman Al-Banadiri, a Somali of Yemeni descent. Wafula said AMISOM has been able to collect valuable information about the fundamentalists through intelligence gathering and defectors. Several militants have also been killed, he added. The AMISOM spokesperson, Maj. Bahoku Barigye, told The New Vision that he had talked to three of the Ugandan Al Shabaab fighters who issued threats against him, claiming that they knew his whereabouts and those of his relatives in Kampala. He said the three spoke Luganda, Kifumbira and Iteso respectively. He said one of the Ugandans told him he was a member of the Alliance Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that operated in the DRC. Bahoku noted that despite the challenges posed by the militants, the mission would not demand a change of mandate. Al Qaedas involvement was not a secret, he observed, saying the terrorists published their presence on their various websites claiming they were in Somalia to defend their Islam brothers. Going by the information we have gathered, these people are fugitives. They are being looked for and have been caught up in this web. They are creating anarchy because they dont know where to go if the conflict got solved. He added that Al Shabaab wants Somalia to be portrayed as a no-go area, a country that cannot be rectified, so that social criminals from around the world can operate from it. The two-day conference is intended to create awareness among the media and civil society organisations in current and potential troop contributing countries. Uganda and Burundi are the only countries that have contributed soldiers to the mission. Djibouti, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Malawi promised to send troops but they have not yet done so. Out of the 8,000 soldiers needed to pacify Mogadishu alone, only 5,000 have been deployed.