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Kenyan and Somali leaders hold talks on security

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held talks on Wednesday with visiting Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo focusing on security issues, the presidency said.

Kenyatta’s office said the two leaders discussed bilateral issues and security matters including the continued support for African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in which Kenyan forces play a big role.

“The two leaders updated each other on shared security concerns as well as progress in regional efforts to bring peace and stability back to Somalia with the help of Kenya and other nations,” it said.

President Mohamed arrived in the country early Wednesday accompanied by a high-level delegation of ministers and senior government officials.

State House said Kenyatta and Farmajo also discussed multilateral issues including Kenya’s push for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.


United Nations pledges 2.7 mln USD to help
Somaliland communities affected by cyclone

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Tuesday pledged 2.7 million U.S. dollars to help Somaliland communities affected by cyclone which left at least 25 people dead and displaced thousand others.

Peter de Clercq, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia who visited the self-declared semi-autonomous region, said the response to the combination of events- storm, floods, drought- highlighted the need for a response which addresses both the short- and longer-term needs of humanitarian events.

De Clercg said in a statement released in Mogadishu that the short-term should focus on the immediate emergency and the longer-term centred on building the resilience of communities like that of the Awhal region.

The recent landfall of Cyclone Sagar on the northern Horn of Africa has affected some 160,000 people, killing dozens and causing severe damage to infrastructure and economic loss, especially for those with a traditional pastoral livelihood, according to the UN.

It said the cyclone’s impact has compounded an already-difficult humanitarian and development situation in the area due to recent heavy flooding and a years-long drought.

De Clercq had been in Somaliland to see its impact first-hand, as well as meet with local partners, including government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, community elders and people directly affected by the storm.

The cyclone comes after a powerful tropical cyclone with winds in excess of 120 km/per hour and an entire year’s worth of rain which landed in Somalia on May 19 left destruction and death in its wake in Somaliland, endangering the lives of thousands of children in the region.

Cyclone Sagar tore through the coastal north of the country, destroying homes and livelihoods in its wake.

According to Somaliland authorities, at least 25 people have been killed, 27 others are missing and hundreds of homes destroyed following tropical cyclone Sagar that caused heavy rains and flooding in Somaliland.


Somalia evacuates 151 stranded migrants from Libya

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali government on Wednesday evacuated 151 migrants from Libya who had been held in areas controlled by militia.

The latest evacuation brings to 176 the number of Somalis who have been returned home since the government launched the return-to-home exercise backed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the EU in December last year.

Somali Ambassador to EU Ali Faqi who received the returnees at the airport in Mogadishu said the registration and repatriation of other Somalis still stranded in Libya is still ongoing.

He said they have managed to bring back 151 Somalis out of 300 who had been registered. Faqi said the first batch of 11 Somalis arrived in the country in February followed by 13 others in March and a similar number in the same month.

He said the efforts are underway to bring back more Somalis who are still stranded in the North African nation, noting however that some are not willing to return.

The Horn of African nation’s government has returned prisoners and Somali migrants back from Ethiopia, Seychelles and India earlier.

Photos and videos of Somalis tortured in smugglers’ camps have outraged the public in Somalia, prompting President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to order evacuation of Somali migrants allegedly enslaved in Libya.

According to reports, Libya’s Bani Walid is a hotspot for smugglers moving migrants from sub-Saharan countries to the coast, where they then board boats in dangerous sea journeys to Italy.


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