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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Somalia approves 340 million dollars budget for 2019

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia’s cabinet on Monday approved a budget of 340 million U.S. dollars for the 2018/2019 financial year which is 65 million dollars more than the previous fiscal year.

Finance minister Abdirahman Duale Beyle said the cabinet, which is chaired by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, noted that 55 percent of the budget will be financed by internal sources of revenue while the deficit will be financed by donor support.

Beyle said revenue increased to 143 million dollars in 2017 from 113 million dollars in the previous year. He said 42 million dollars has already been realized in the first quarter of 2018.

The prime minister attributed the rise in revenue to various fiscal reforms which were instituted by the government, thanks to the Somali people who worked with the government to collect taxes to achieve self-sufficiency.

“I am pleased that the cabinet has approved the 2019 national budget today. Our budget has now risen to 340 million dollars,” said Khaire.

“This progress is the result of our economic and fiscal reforms and focus on rising domestic revenue. Our reform will be supported by our commitment to good governance,” he added in a statement.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

U.S. military kills two al-Shabab militants in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United States military said Friday its special forces conducted an airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow in Somalia on Thursday, killing two al-Shabab militants.

The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said the latest precision airstrike which was conducted in cooperation with Somali government also destroyed one vehicle.

“We currently assess this airstrike killed two militants and destroyed one vehicle. We also currently assess this airstrike did not injure or kill any civilians,” Africom said in a statement.

“Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region,” it added.

Africom, which has in the past conducted counterterrorism airstrikes against the terror group in Somalia, said the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations, and shelter radical terrorists.

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Senior al-Shabab commander killed in an ambush

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) confirmed Friday its troops killed a senior al-Shabab commander in an ambush in southern Somalia.

The AU mission said the unnamed commander who was the terrorist group’s chief finance controller and head of Zakat tax collection in Lower Shabelle region was killed on Monday after the AU troops ambushed the venue of an al-Shabab meeting in Bariire.

“AMISOM will continue working with the federal and state governments to ensure al-Shabab is defeated and lasting peace and security is restored in Somalia,” said the AU mission.

According to a UN Monitoring report, the militant group always pays for weapons and fighters with revenue it earns from taxing traders and from the export of charcoal, trade that was banned by the UN Security Council Resolution which was adopted in 2012.

The AU mission said the Monday’s incident came after another seven al-Shabab fighters were killed on Sunday after a “botched” probe attack by al-Shabab on the mission’s forward operating base.

“In two separate incidents in Lower Shabelle region, AMISOM troops have killed more than eight al-Shabab fighters, including a top commander,” said the mission.

The AU forces, in cooperation with Somalia government, have been conducting a series of operations against al-Shabab in Somalia to degrade the al-Qaida affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region.

             

 

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