Al Shabaab could launch terrorist attacks on Somaliland territories after the demise of their leader Osama Bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. Special Forces in an operation in Pakistan, a Somaliland minister warned on Sunday.
Mohammed Abdullahi Omar, Somaliland’s foreign minister, said that al Shabaab militants, who are involved in southern Somalia battles against the transitional federal government and African Union forces, could commit reprisal attacks in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and other towns.
He said that al Shabaab, which he described as a terrorist group, can easily hazard the security and tranquility of all Somalia regions and throughout the Horn of Africa, citing as an example the twin bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July last year.
“We are calling for the African Union and the international community to help the democratic administration of Somaliland to assure its internal security,” Omar said while speaking at a ceremony marking Djibouti president Isama’il Omar Guelleh’s election for a third time.
He said al Shabaab¸ which controls large swaths in southern and central Somalia, is a key factor in stoking fighting in the south of Somalia.
In the past, Sheikh Mukhtar Abdurrahman Abu Zubeyr, the leader of al Shabaab, has threatened to attack Somaliland.
Despite the threat, Somaliland security forces have several times said they thwarted an Al Shabaab terrorist attacks.
In Oct. 29, 2008, at least 21 persons were killed after suicide attackers using explosives-laden cars targeted the presidential palace, the Ethiopian embassy and United Nations offices in Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway republic.