Friday, October 09, 2009


Somalia's U.N.-backed government has recruited more than 170 young Kenyans and former servicemen to help it fight rebels in the failed Horn of Africa state, local leaders in eastern Kenya said.

Mohamed Gabow, the mayor of Garissa, told Reuters the enrolment of ethnic Somali Kenyans was being conducted at a home in Bulla Iftin village, on the outskirts of his town.

"The recruitment is not a secret. Those involved are not worried. They are going around all the villages to announce the exercise," Gabow said in an interview late on Thursday.

Gabow called for there to be an investigation.

"We are raising an alarm. Our community must not be used to kill its kin or risk the lives of its people."

Local police commander Paul Mukoma dismissed the report as a rumour and said no official complaint had been lodged.

"No local leader or any parent has come forward to inform us about any such reports," he told Reuters.

Western donors agreed at a meeting in Brussels in April to give Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's administration nearly $214 million to help build up a police force of some 10,000 personnel and a 5,000-strong security force.