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Somalia: Islamic militants threaten the English language

last update: September 08, 15:57

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Mogadishu, 8 Sept. (AKI) - The English language in Somalia has been under threat by the Al-Qaeda linked militant group Al-Shabab, according to London based pan -Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Through intimidation Al-Shabab militants in control of the the southern Somali city of Chisimaio have banned the teaching of English in schools, ordering teachers to replaced it with Arabic - the language of the Koran.

"We were following a program used in Kenya, Sudan and Malaysia that uses only English in the classroom to prepare students to study in a foreign university," said a teacher. "Now we can't even teach and will have to replace our teachers that come from Kenya who can't speak Arabic."

Currently Chisimaio has six middle and high schools that teach classes in English, while elementary schools use Arabic, the report said.

Similarly, in recently days, radical Islamic groups in control of areas outside of the capital Mogadishu have ordered shopkeepers to substitute English signs with those in Arabic.

Al-Shabab has an alliance with Al-Qaeda and has not shied away from using terrorist tactics in its fight to control Somalia. In 2010 the group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Ugandan capital Kampala that killed around 75 people who gathered to watch the televised broadcast of the World Cup soccer finals.

Uganda leads a military coalition of African countries deployed in Somalia to keep the troubled country out of the hands of radical Islamic militants.

Somalia has been without an effective government for about 20 years.


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