Somaliland wants war on Shabaab

2009-10-29 22:27

Hargeisa - The leader of Somalia's breakaway self-declared state of Somaliland called on Thursday for war against the hardline al-Shabaab rebels as the region marked one year since deadly suicide attacks.

Twenty-four people were killed in the October 29 2008 multiple blasts that ripped through the presidential palace, Ethiopia's diplomatic compound and the offices of the UN Development Programme in the region's capital Hargeisa.

Somaliland blamed the al-Qaeda inspired al-Shabaab militia for the attacks.

"The attacks that hit Somaliland were aimed at undermining the existence of our statehood and we must be united to fight against the perpetrators of such incidents," President Dahir Riyale Kahin told a gathering commemorating the events.

"We must go against those elements otherwise they will make our region like Mogadishu."

Al-Shabaab's leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, aka Mukhtar Abu Zubair, hails from Somaliland.

Al-Shabaab, who control southern Somalia, have waged relentless battles against Somalia's transitional government in the capital Mogadishu.

Unlike the rest of Somalia, Somaliland - a former British protectorate which broke away from the rump of Somalia in 1991 - has been relatively peaceful.