Kenya's military tweets: don't sell donkeys to militants


Donkey-carts carry the belongings of Somali refugees from the IFO refugee camp on the outskirts of Dadaab, 80kms from the Somali-Kenyan border, to higher ground.


Stephen Morrison

Kenya's military spokesperson is using Twitter to release updates on Kenya's military push into Somalia to fight the Al Shabaab militants, the Associated Press reports.

Spokesman Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir tweeted earlier today that people should not help Al Qaeda-linked militants by selling them donkeys, as they could be used for transporting weapons by Al Shabaab.

Chirchir tweeted earlier today that since southern Somalia is getting heavy rainfall, vehicles can't move through. Thus, the price of animal transport has increased.
"Kenyans dealing in donkey trade along the Kenya-Somali border are advised not to sell their animals to Al Shabaab," Chirchir tweeted. 

By way of explanation, he added: "Selling Donkeys to Al Shabaab will undermine our efforts in Somalia."

He continued: 

"In addition we are also reliably informed that the cost of donkeys has risen from $150 to $200 for a donkey. Thus, any large concentration and movement of loaded donkeys will be considered as Al Shabaab activity."

Chirchir explained that as many Somalis are online, Twitter is an easy way to communicate the miltary's messages. He had tweeted a list of 10 Somali towns that would be attacked soon. After Somali media reported the story, this prompted residents to flee the towns.

Follow Chirchir at: @MajEChirchir.