Terrorist group al-Shabaab has threatened bloodshed as they vowed violence against British troops when they arrive in Somalia for peacekeeping operations.

Al-Shabaab is an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union, which splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and the Ethiopian military. The group describes itself as waging jihad against “enemies of Islam” and is engaged in combat against the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Mission to Somalia. Al-Shabaab has been designated as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States

The Prime Minister previously announced plans for the UK to contribute troops to peacekeeping operations in Somalia and South Sudan at a UN event in New York.

David Cameron stated that UK will deploy personnel to Somalia as part of the UN support for the African Union force that is working to build stability in the country and counter the threat posed by the terrorist group Al-Shabab, who are battling Somalia’s government for control of the country. British troops will provide training, medical, logistical and engineering support.

Speaking in a radio broadcast, group higher-up Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said:

“We hope we shall see the beheaded bodies of whites. We shall welcome British forces with fire and you will see their dead bodies displayed on the web pages.”

Speaking ahead of the UN event, the Prime Minister said:

“Our armed forces have a long history of delivering security and stability to some of the most difficult environments in the world, and I am proud to offer British support and expertise to peacekeeping operations in Somalia and South Sudan.

As the world agrees ambitious goals to end extreme poverty, it is absolutely vital that the international community works together to shore up stability in Africa. And Britain – with our 2% defence budget and 0.7% aid budget – is more than able to play her part.

Our commitment to peacekeeping operations will help to alleviate serious humanitarian and security issues in Somalia and South Sudan, helping to bring stability to the region and preventing these challenges from spreading further afield.”

British troops will not be involved in combat roles said the PM:

“It’s not committing troops to conflict, it’s committing troops to a UN blue-hatted peacekeeping role – as we’ve done many times in the past, as we will do in the future.”

The UK already makes a substantial financial contribution to UN Peacekeeping including approximately £323 million a year as part of the UK contribution to the UN’s $8.5 billion peacekeeping budget.

A spokesperson for the British High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, declined to comment on the al-Shabaab broadcast.

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