Africa

Al-Shabab dismisses Somali president war declaration

farmajo Image copyright villa somalia
Image caption Al-Shabab says President Farmajo's, centre-left, threats to defeat them are not new

Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab has dismissed President Mohamed Abdullahi Faramajo's declaration of war.

The response was carried on the Somali Memo website which is affiliated to the al-Qaeda-linked group.

On Thursday, President Farmajo offered the militants an amnesty at the same time as declaring war on the group.

The UN-backed government in Mogadishu has been fighting the militants for control of Somalia for nearly a decade.

Mr Farmajo promised that fighters who gave themselves up within 60 days would get training, employment and education.

The president's statement was made "just to please the West", an al-Shabab official is quoted as saying.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Al-Shabab are accused of numerous attacks in Somalia and Kenya

Mr Farmajo announced the amnesty at a news conference in the capital, Mogadishu, dressed in full military fatigues.

"We want to pardon the Somali youth who were misled by al-Shabab," he said.

He also announced a major shakeup in the drought-stricken country's security services.

Senior officers in Somalia's intelligence service and police force have been replaced to prepare for the escalating war against the militants.

Mr Farmajo named a new military commander, director of national security and intelligence, commander of police and a new head of prison forces.

The new president was elected in February promising a "new beginning" for the country.

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