Al-Shabab threatens Somali elders ahead of elections
Somalia-based militant Islamist group al-Shabab has released a statement declaring the Somali clan elders who nominate members of parliament “apostates”.
“The so-called tribal elders who appointed the members of the apostate Somali parliament have fallen into clear-cut disbelief that has invalidated their Islam,” the statement, posted on the pro-al-Shabaab website Somalimemo, says.
The group, which is allied to al-Qaeda, has been pushed out of most of the main towns it once controlled, but it remains a potent threat.
It is ordering the clan elders to “repent” within 45 days or face targeted killings by the jihadist group.
The group also warned the elders against participating in the formation of regional states.
The warning comes in the lead up to two regional state elections in Somalia – Jubbaland and Galmudug. Al-Shabab has previously killed several electoral delegates ahead of Somali regional polls.
The militant group is battling the UN-backed government in Somalia, and has carried out a string of attacks across the region.