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Kenya authorities hopeful that polls in Somalia will improve security 

MANDERA (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities have said that the forthcoming elections slated for neighboring Somalia in September and October will help enhance security in the region.

Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said that after the elections, the new government will put in place new administrative and military units that will allow for structured collaboration between Kenya and Somalia’s Jubaland.

Shisia said the lack of proper structures had given Al-Shabaab militia group a field day to carry out and execute attacks on both sides.

“Initially the structures were very weak and Al-Shabaab took advantage to carry out attacks at will. But it will not be easy with a stable government,” the county commissioner said by telephone.

He also said the new restored security from Jubaland will promote business between the two governments.

The presidential election will be held on Oct. 30 while parliamentary will be held in September.

The current president Hassan Sheikh Mohamed is expected to defend his seat against a host of other candidates who have shown interest in the same seat.



Senior Al-Shabaab fighter surrenders to Somali government

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- A senior Al-Shabaab fighter has surrendered to Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency under amnesty offered by the Somali government.

Somali Minister of Internal Security Abdirisak Omar Mohamed told Xinhua by phone on Tuesday that the government facilitated the defection of Ibrahim Aden Ibrahim on Monday evening.

The minister said the government welcomes anyone in the terrorist group who decides to leave the group of defect under the amnesty period.

Ibrahim told journalists on Monday that he has been in the group for nine years and was planning to defect to government two years earlier.

“I was Al-Shabaab official in charge of education issues,” said Ibrahim, who is expected to provide crucial information that may lead to the arrest of other insurgents who have been fighting the transitional government.


Two Al-Shabaab suspects arrested in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali security forces on Monday arrested two Al-Shabaab suspects from Dharkenlay district in Benadir region after operation there.

Abdikamil Moallim Shukri, spokesman of the Ministry of Internal Security, confirmed the arrest, saying investigation is underway to establish their motive.

“Security forces in Dharkenlay arrested two terrorist suspects during an operation, Investigation is continuing now,” Shukri said.

The security forces arrested another female suspect with an AK47 over the weekend from Black Sea village in Hodan district in Benadir region.

The latest operations come as security forces intensified security patrols to ensure that the forthcoming East Africa’s bloc summit on Sept. 7 is held without any disruption from the militants.



African Union calls for joint efforts to fight youth radicalization in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has called on community members and youth to cooperate with police to fight radicalization and enhance peace and stability in the Horn of Africa nation.

AMISOM Chief Inspector John Marete told a community sensitization meeting on countering violent extremism in Beletweyne town that terrorism is the greatest threat to the Somali government’s efforts toward peace and stability, and keeping communities safe is the responsibility of both security agencies and the local residents.

The meeting, held Wednesday by AMISOM Police, is part of a series of meetings aimed at raising awareness of the importance of countering violent extremism ahead of an upcoming electoral process, which begins this month.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the business community, youth and women groups and the civil society. Plans are also underway to hold similar meetings in other parts of the country.

AMISOM Assistant Superintended of Police Cecilia Appiah Ampofo said the meeting would also give youth a clearer understanding of the negative impact of radicalization and violent extremism.

“Our aim is to interact and encourage community members to share information with the police and encourage collaboration in fighting crime,” Ampofo said.


AU denies two AMISON soldiers arrested over theft in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Tuesday denied reports that two of its soldiers were arrested by the local security agents for illegally selling military supplies in the Horn of Africa nation.

A statement from the pan-African body said no AMISOM soldiers were arrested on Monday in Mogadishu by Somalia’s National Intelligence Agency for illegally selling military equipment and supplies.

“AMISOM refutes false allegations in the media claiming that two AMISOM soldiers have been arrested selling military supplies,” it said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The pan-African body which has been pacifying the Horn of Africa nation said it is committed to good practice and compliance by all its troops and is always happy to provide further information for clarity.

Local media reports said the two soldiers were arrested in Mogadishu on Monday and their car was detained by Somali intelligence for the illegal sale of military equipment and fuel.

Intelligence officials have reportedly been investigating the matter for some time following discovery of military equipment belonging to AMISOM among locals.

The mission has over 22,000 peacekeepers supporting the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia.

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