7 June 2014

Somalia: Al Shabaab Denies Ties With Ethiopian Rebels

Mogadishu — Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group has denied it maintains links with Ethiopian ONLF rebels following reports of coordinated insurgency against Ethiopian-AMISOM peacekeepers in southern Somalia, Garowe Online reports.

Speaking with Somali media, Al Shabaab operations spokesman Abdiazis Abu Muscab said the purported relations between Al Shabaab and the faction operating in Eastern Ethiopia, ONLF are nonexistent.

"The reports indicating that there is a tie between ONLF and Al Shabaab are clear fabrications which were spread by those who don't shy away from false news. It is known that ONLF is outlawed near us and can't arrive in areas under our control, for that reason Al Shabaab can't maintain links with [ONLF]," Abu Mucab noted.

He added that Al Shabaab is fighting for the religion while ONLF fights for independence and political agendas.

The Governor of Bakool region of southwestern Somalia Mohamed Abdi Tool previously disclosed that Al Shabaab and ONLF coordinate attacks on Ethiopian-AMISOM forces and Somali troops in Somalia's border with neighboring Ethiopia.

A spokesman for Ogaden rebels has strongly contested remarks by Tool, saying they operate inside Ethiopia.

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