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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Dozen al-Shabab militants killed in offensive in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least 12 al-Shabab fighters were killed and several others escaped with injuries in a fierce fighting with Somali National Army (SNA) at a location in the southern port town of Kismayo.

SNA commander Ismail Sahardid on Wednesday confirmed the Tuesday incident at Bar-Sanguni location, saying the military operation was aimed at liberating more areas still under al-Shabab in Lower Jubba region.

“Somali National Army conducted military operation against al-Shabab at several areas including Bar-Sanguni location in this region on Tuesday and killed 12 terrorists and injured several others during the operation,” Sahardid said.

He did not comment on whether there were casualties on SNA side during the operation.

The group’s affiliated media said the al-Qaeda allied militant group killed two government soldiers in the gunfight and resisted attacks from Somali forces. The group claimed that Bar-Sanguni is under the militants’ control now.

Independent sources could not confirm the control of Bar-Sanguni location which has been under target by the allied forces.

The U.S. Africa command (Africom) said the incident took place during a joint operation in Jubaland in southern Somalia conducted by combined Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) and the U.S. special forces.

The Somali and allied troops have intensified operations in Somalia after the killing of U.S. special operations soldier on June 8. Some four soldiers were also injured in a firefight against the al-Shabab in Bar-Sanguni.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

United Nations urges Somalia to enact laws to end conflict-related sexual violence

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The UN top envoy in Somalia on Tuesday called on the government to swiftly enact laws to help end conflict-related sexual violence in the Horn of African nation.

Michael Keating, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, lauded both the Somali government and federal member states for their public commitment to ending sexual violence in conflict through the implementation of the National Action Plan on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict.

“We welcome these positive developments and encourage Somalis to enact these pieces of legislation swiftly. Far too many women and children are vulnerable to violence,” he said in a statement issued to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Keating said passing the sexual violence bills is a crucial step, though not enough to protect women and children.

“It will also enable them to be fully involved in rebuilding security institutions and the constitutional review process,” said the UN envoy.

Keating who paid tribute to the victims and survivors of sexual violence in Somalia said this year’s observance is being held following the approval of a Sexual Offences Bill by the Somali cabinet early June.

“This represents an important step in preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict, and the legislation has been submitted to the Federal Parliament for further review and an eventual enactment,” he said.

The UN envoys said similar bills have been enacted in regional state of Puntland in August 2016 while in January Parliament in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland also approved a Sexual Offences Bill, and the legislation only requires presidential assent to become law.

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Somalia launches new curriculum to improve access to education

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia has launched a new education curriculum for primary schools across the country to ensure access to quality education for its youthful population, a government official said.

Hassan Mohamed Ali, the Director General of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education said the new curriculum will be implemented in the new academic year that begins in August.

“We hope this new curriculum will make a positive input into the education of the Somali children,” Ali said in a statement released by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Tuesday.

The new curriculum was announced late Monday during celebrations to mark International Day of the African Child held in Mogadishu where the government vowed to work closely with development partners to ensure access to quality education for its youthful population.

“The curriculum will be adopted for use in schools across the country, whether they are private schools or public schools,” said Ali.

He said children in Somalia have a right to education like their counterparts in other African countries, noting that the government will work tirelessly to ensure its population is well educated.

Ali described education as the cornerstone for Somalia’s development, urging ministries and government institutions to work together to improve schooling after decades of conflict.

The International Day of the African Child is marked every year on June 16 and this year’s theme “leave no child behind for Africa’s development” is aimed at creating awareness on the importance of protecting the rights of children and ensuring both boys and girls have equal opportunities.

             

 

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