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Government unit destroy al-Shabaab compound in south Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia National Army (SNA)-backed by the African Union peace keeping mission (AMISOM) on Friday destroyed an Al-Shabaab compound in southern Somalia.

"Somali National Army forces conducted an operation today which resulted in the destruction of a known Al-Shabaab compound around Tortoroow," said AMISOM.

The AU mission said the Somali forces were able to successfully reduce the ability of the terrorists to conduct senseless acts of violence against the people.

The Al-Qaida linked terrorist group has stepped up their onslaught on the government after being forced out of the capital and other major urban areas in Somalia by national and Africa Union forces

Targets have included hotels, military checkpoints, and the presidential palace including both government and AU military bases.


United Nations and African Union missions launch joint police patrol training

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and African Union missions in Somalia on Tuesday launched a joint training program for police officers from Puntland and Galmudug states to carry out joint patrols in Galkayo, as part of a ceasefire agreement.

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the trainees will also support ongoing initiatives to restore stability and the rule of law, and also act as focal points for rebuilding confidence and peace in Galkayo.

"The training aims to promote trust and confidence in Galkayo, by preparing a group of selected police officers to establish and implement joint police patrols in Galkayo, under a common command," UNSOM Police Commissioner in Somalia Christoph Buik said in a statement released in Mogadishu.

The trainees will also support ongoing initiatives to restore stability and the rule of law, and also act as focal points for rebuilding confidence and peace in Galkayo.

The training is taking place under the auspices of the Galkayo Ceasefire Agreement signed on Jan. 1 by the Puntland and Galmudug State Presidents.

Under the agreement, patrol teams from both states would be trained to help enforce the cessation of hostilities between the two administrations.

Buik said the joint patrol teams would provide security to the Joint Ceasefire Committee members, while on visits to a buffer zone established between both sides.

According to the UN, at least 100 police officers who will oversee the implementation of the Galkayo Ceasefire Agreement are taking part in the inaugural joint training launched at Galkayo Community Centre on Monday.

"We are ready to ensure the implementation of peace in Galkayo," noted Mohamed Hashi Abdi, the Vice President of Galmudug State.

"Somalis, we have to hold each other’s hands, support one another and tell our people that we are one as brothers and sisters," he added.

Under the Galkayo ceasefire deal, leaders from the two states have also committed to withdraw troops and remove roadblocks, in order to allow free movement of people and goods.

Abdihakim Omar Amey, the Vice President of Puntland State said the joint police patrol is the beginning of the Somali integration process.

"We don’t want to miss this opportunity," said Amey who added that Puntland was committed to spearheading the integration of the whole of Somalia, starting with the implementation of the Galkayo agreement.

African Union resolves to clear supply routes for easy aid delivery in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) senior commanders ended their three-day strategy meeting in Mogadishu late Saturday by resolving to continue to ensure clearance of the main supply routes (MSRs) for easy access of humanitarian activities.

The security meeting which reviewed ongoing operations and discussed an upcoming reorganization of troops pending the commencement of a draw down, noted that the supply routes are crucial for lives of Somalis.

"Clearing the main supply routes is very important as the lives of the Somalis and of AMISOM are at stake," said Osman Noor Soubagleh, who chaired the meetings.

The meeting attended by commanders of various contingents also discussed recommendations of the recent joint AU-UN review of AMISOM, continued threats posed by widespread use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by militants and critical aspects of troops’ logistics.

A statement issued after the meeting said the work being done by the military to clear and secure Main Supply Routes will enable free movement of humanitarian supplies and people, across south central Somalia, and committed to continue with the clearance explosive devices on the routes.

"If we open the MSRs, this will ensure that the business of the Somalis between the various towns will be active, so I ask you to open the MSRs; this is an obligation," said Soubagleh.

The Force Commander also emphasized the importance of continued capacity building of the Somali National Security Forces, ahead of the transition from AMISOM.

Aid agencies say the poor state of main supply routes in south-central Somalia had provided conditions for Al-Shabaab to continue laying ambushes and use explosive devices against AMISOM convoys and Somali national security forces.


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