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International partners commend Somali leaders
for striking deal on security, economy

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- International partners on Thursday lauded Somali leaders who reaching agreements on security, economy and electoral issues during the recently concluded National Security Council meeting held in Baidoa in southwest Somalia.

In a joint statement, the foreign envoys from the United Nations, the European Union (EU), United States, Britain and the African Union (AU) among others commended the leaders for reaching key agreements on the transition plan, revenue sharing, and the electoral model for the 2020 one-person, one-vote elections.

“As Somalia enters a new phase in its relations with international financial institutions, its partners encourage Somalia’s leaders to continue working in the spirit of unity,” the partners said.

The foreign envoys also called on the leaders to speed up the implementation of these agreements reached during the meeting which also resolved to equip its forces and enhance their skills to take charge of the country’s security after the AU force withdraws from Somalia.

The June 3-5 conference attended by the country’s top leaders, regional leaders, security officials and ministers urged Somali security forces to secure and reopen the main supply route linking Baidoa and other towns.

The leaders also passed the Transitional Plan which requires AMISOM to prepare Somali national security institutions to take over the country’s security once the AU mission’s mandate comes to an end within four years.

The international partners commended the Somali leaders including Federal Member States, Benadir region, and represented ministries for building consensus on critical issues that provide the basis for further progress, including the conclusion of the constitutional review process.

The partners also lauded the conference which wrapped up on Tuesday for defining the Somali federal model, and set the stage for a constructive Somalia Partnership Forum, which the government, the EU and Sweden will co-host in Brussels on June 25 and 26.



Five killed in al-Shabab attack in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least five people were killed and several others injured after al-Shabab militants ambushed a military convoy near Balad town, about 30 km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials said Tuesday.

Police officer who did not want to be named told Xinhua that the Tuesday attack targeted a convoy carrying regional lawmakers and other government officials near Balad town in Middle Shabelle region, southern Somalia.

“Five people were killed in the attack including regional Members of Parliament and soldiers. The casualties could rise,” the officer said.

Residents said they heard blasts and gunfire at the area. “We heard explosions followed by huge gunfire, we learnt a convoy hit by al-Shabab attack,” a resident Nur Aways told Xinhua.

Al-Shabab militants have claimed responsibility for the attack.


UN agency installs scanners to enhance Somali’s border management

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The UN migration agency said it has begun installation of 10-digit biometric fingerprint readers at Mogadishu’s international airport and its seaport as part of efforts to boost Somalia’s border management.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said strict border control standards are important to prevent cases of trafficking, terrorism, smuggling, and other attempts at exploitation

“Eight ports of entry (PoE) are targeted for the upgrade with the current funding,” said IOM said in a statement issued on Wednesday night.

The Horn of Africa nation currently has the technology to record migrant biodata through the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS).

“It is an IOM-developed technology used to collect, process, and store and analyze traveler information in real time. It is present at 16 PoEs throughout Somalia, with over 100 workstations. IOM plans to continue to roll-out the upgrade of the 10 digit finger print readers to all eight PoEs,” said the IOM.

It said the new 10-digit readers will enable comparability of captured biometrics against national and international alert lists.

The UN agency said Somalia, which is characterized by fluid internal and movement of regular and irregular migrants, is in the process of building the capacities of state institutions such as the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate.

“Often, criminals are striving to circumvent the system by capitalizing on loopholes in border management,” IOM said.

The UN agency said it will offer complementary training to officers from each POE on how to use, store and maintain the new readers towards enhancing border management operations.

“IOM supports, strengthens and facilitates legislation and policy in migration management, facilitates trainings, supports infrastructure development, enhances inter-agency and international cooperation and improves data management throughout Somalia,” it said.



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