Kenya Asks Arab Nations for Support in Somalia

Posted November 12th, 2011 at 11:10 am (UTC-5)
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Kenya is calling for more support from Arab nations to help pursue al-Shabab militants who are carrying out attacks near the Kenya-Somalia border.

A top official in Kenya's Foreign Ministry, Lindsay Kiptiness, says Kenya is trying to gain support from the Arab League and predominantly Muslim nations such as Turkey and Iran that have backed Somalia's Transitional Federal Government.

Kenya's military says it is working with TFG forces to eliminate Somalia-based al-Shabab fighters near the Kenyan border.

Kenya recently launched its military operation in what it deemed an act of self-defense, following several cross-border attacks blamed on Somali militants.

The military says hundreds of al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab fighters have been killed or wounded since the military incursion began. Five Kenyan soldiers have died.

Kiptiness also says Kenya will be approaching the U.N. Security Council to seek an expansion of the African Union peacekeeping mission, or AMISOM, to cover all of Somalia, not just the capital, Mogadishu.

Kenyan officials have said they will ask AMISOM and forces from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to help maintain the peace in southern Somalia when Kenyan troops eventually withdrawal.