Kenya lawmaker says ready to negotiate with Al-Shabaab

NAIROBI (AA) – Kenya’s parliament majority leader Aden Dualle on Saturday hinted at the possibility of negotiating with the Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group, which is most active in neighboring Somalia.

Dualle said he was ready to send elders and religious leaders to talk to the group in Somalia.

“We tell our Al-Shabaab brothers whatever you demand in Somalia is yours, but leave us alone in Kenya,” Dualle told BBC Somali.

He made these remarks only one day after Al-Shabaab killed three police officers in the northeastern county of Mandera.

The attack originally targeted the convoy of the Governor of Mandera county.

Dualle had earlier suggested a new security approach in Kenya.

“The Government  must have a security strategy  to deal with Al Shabaab,” he said.

“I am requesting President Uhuru to ask Amisom [the African Union Mission in Somalia] to have Kenyan forces in Somalia moved closer to the Kenya border,” he added in a political rally in Kajiado near Kenyan capital Nairobi.

He added that this move would secure both Mandera and  Wajir counties.

In a quick response, meanwhile, Al-Shabaab welcomed the proposal by the Kenyan lawmaker, but set conditions for dialogue.

“We will respond to  Adan Dualle’s negotiation plan if it is made on behalf of the Kenyan government,” an Al-Shabaab media official who introduced himself as Yonis told a local Somali radio station.

It was not clear, however, whether Dualle was speaking for the government of his country.

The Kenyan government said in the past that it might negotiate with Al-Shabaab, which it describes as a “terrorist group.”

Al-Shabaab vowed to carry out attacks on Kenyan soil until the East African country withdrew its troops from Somalia.

Kenya sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to join government troops in fighting the radical Qaeda-linked movement.

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