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President Guelleh fears Al Shabab’s influence over the upcoming Somali parliament

Djibouti (SD) – Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh has raised concerns that al-Shabab will have members of parliament in the new Somalia parliament, giving it full power to govern the country indirectly.

The Djiboutian president made the comments on an interview with the African Report.

He also said that al-Shabab was currently able to buy the support of some lawmakers, the news comes at a time when Al-Shabab is reportedly in control of the selection of parliamentarians.

“Legislative elections are scheduled to be held in Somalia in 2021. I fear we will end up with a parliament indirectly controlled by Al-Shabaab because they’ll have bought the support of some of the MPs. The risk that this group poses for the entire region has never been greater.” president Guelleh told the African Report.

He also underlined the importance of great caution and support for the Federal Government of Somalia.

Ismail Omar Guelleh went on to say that al-Shabaab’s influence has expanded in recent years, with tax evasion on businesses and recruiting unemployed youth in refugee camps.

“We haven’t yet managed to eliminate the leaders of this terrorist group. But we must, because Al-Shabaab has expanded its influence to the criminal economy, to the extent that it has become a sort of mafia.” said president Guelleh.

Lastly, he noted that Al-Shabaab is engaged in a war against unemployed youth, blindly extorting money from the country’s exorbitant taxes.

“In the Port of Mogadishu, few containers escape their control: they tax, racketeer, traffic and, more than anything else, corrupt many important figures. They use refugee camps as a recruitment channel, offering young unemployed people food while also indoctrinating, training and arming them.” Added Guelleh.

The Djiboutian President’s statement comes at a time when Somalia’s traditional leaders were warned electing the group to the country’s 11th parliament.

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