Al-Shabaab armed group in Somalia on Thursday denied an accusation by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud that it finances jihadists in Nigeria and Mozambique, describing the claim as “not only absurd but pitifully laughable”.
Speaking to Somali soldiers being trained in a military facility in Isparta during a state visit to Turkey this week, Mohamud said Al-Shabaab uses revenue it collects in areas under its control to finance Islamists in Nigeria and Mozambique and Al-Qaeda affiliates elsewhere in the world.
“Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen hereby categorically denies these baseless accusations which are nothing more than a clear-cut piffle,” Al-Shabaab said in a statement.
“These accusations come at a time when the Somali people are facing a severe drought and are nothing more than an attempt to divert the attention from the apostate government’s incompetence, failure and negligence in helping the millions of Somalis affected by the drought.”
Militants said Somali president’s allegation was giving precedence to a coordinated effort by Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey to “exploit the land and resources of Somalia” and called on Somali traders to be wary of schemes to appropriate their wealth “with such flimsy excuses”.