U.S. ambassador to Somalia Larry André has blamed Somali leaders for political bickering at the expense of the country’s security noting this has created an environment for increased Al-Shabaab attacks.
André said in an interview with the local media that Al-Shabaab was capitalising on political wrangling to bolster its terror attacks in the country.
“Al-Shabaab is stronger than ever. They have momentum and are on the offensive. We have seen this over the past year as too many of Somalia’s political leaders have chosen to prioritize politics over defending Somalis from murder, violent extortion, and other crimes by this group,” the U.S’ top diplomat in Somalia said.
Ambassador André called on Somali leaders to set aside their differences and pursue a common goal in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
“We ask all Somalia’s leaders to renew their commitment to degrading al-Shabaab’s ability to conduct attacks and making Somalia a much safer place, the ambassador added.
His remarks come amid heightened attacks by Al-Shabaab both in the capital Mogadishu and other regions in the country. The group has mounted direct attacks at the elections targeting delegates and electoral officials.