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Security forces kill three militants in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia security forces on Thursday killed at least three Al-Shabaab militants and injured four others in heavy fighting with the insurgents in Bariire location in southern region.

Deputy Governor of Lower Shabelle region, Abdifitah Haji Abdulle, told reporters that Al-Shabaab militants attacked Somalia National Army base in Bariire, sparking fierce fighting between the army and insurgents.

“Terrorists attacked army bases in Bariire location in Lower Shabelle region today, then fighting broke out that lasted about two hours. Somali National Army killed 3 Al-Shabaab militants and wounded 4 others,” Abdulle said.

Abdulle added that there were no casualties on Somali National Army side during the fighting in the area.

A resident in Bariire told Xinhua by phone that residents have deserted the town due to fears of retaliatory attacks by the insurgents.

“I cannot tell the number of casualties of the fresh fighting today, but casualties will only be from warring sides here because residents were displaced already,” the resident said.

Al-Shabaab militants did not comment on the latest assault in Bariire town which is about 60km south of the capital Mogadishu.

At least 18 Al-Shabaab militants were killed last week after they raided a military base in Bariire town.



Somali forces kill nine Al-Shabaab militants in S. Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia National Army (SNA) killed nine Al-Shabaab militants in an operation occurred at an area about 35 km to Burdhubo town in Gedo region, southern Somalia, officials said on Tuesday.

Somali Government commander of 48 Division, Abdirahman Ibrahim Mohamed told state-owned radio that the operation which started on Monday evening was well planned that targeted a stronghold of the militants in the region.

“We killed nine Al-Shabaab militants, three of them senior officials in a successful operation near Burdhubo town in this region. We recovered eight AK47 rifles and one PKM during the operation on Monday, we are also in the area at moment for further investigation,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim did not confirm the number of casualties on SNA side. There was no comment as well from Al-Shabaab militants on the latest military operation by SNA.

Such operation comes three weeks after the militants carried out major attacks at some key towns including Bula-Hawo and El-Wak in Gedo region near the Kenya-Somalia border.


Sudanese president vows peace and stability in Somalia

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on Thursday that his country would exert utmost efforts for peace and stability in Somalia.

“We have conducted comprehensive talks, the ultimate goal of which is to employ Sudan’s potentialities to achieve peace, stability and unity in Somalia,” said al-Bashir at a joint press conference after a meeting with his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in the capital Khartoum.

“Our concern has been to restore stability in Somalia which has suffered instability and insecurity,” he added.

The meeting focused on the security and economic situations in Somalia, its external relations with neighboring countries, Sudan’s contribution to fighting drought in Somalia, and Sudan’s role in restoring security and stability there, according to the Sudanese president.

Meanwhile, Somali President Mohamed hailed Sudan’s supports to his country.

“Somalia and Sudan have enjoyed historical ties over centuries which are based on brotherhood and blood relations,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Somali president leading a high-level delegation, including ministers of foreign affairs, finance, agriculture and youth and sports, arrived in Khartoum for a two-day visit.


Somalia president visits Sudan for talks on bilateral issues

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday arrived in Sudan’s capital Khartoum for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral issues.

“This visit comes as affirmation of the deep and strong ties between Sudan and Somalia,” said Hamid Mumtaz, Sudan’s state minister for foreign affairs.

He further reiterated Sudan’s commitment to work for achieving peace and stability in Somalia.

The Somali president is expected to hold talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice-President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh.

The Somali president’s will also visit some Sudanese industrial and educational institutions.

The two sides are scheduled to sign joint agreements, and the two presidents will hold a joint press conference at the conclusion of the visit on Thursday.

President Mohamed was received upon arrival at Khartoum airport by president al-Bashir and senior government officials.


UN-backed innovation challenge opens in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- A UN-backed innovation camp is underway in Mogadishu with 55 young Somali men and women brainstorming on best business ideas to improve the dairy industry.

A statement from the UN Development Program (UNDP) issued on Wednesday said participants in the first ever “Innovate for Somalia” will develop specific solutions to dairy industry challenges, which will then be reviewed, fine-tuned and developed into a business model.

UNDP Somalia Country Director, George Conway, congratulated the government on its leadership in making the event happen.

“These kinds of processes must involve broad collaboration between the Federal Government, between civil society and between the private sector, to bring us all together and think through what we can do differently,” Conway said.

“We need new thinking, new approaches to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and we rely on the youth of Somalia to articulate, bright, smart, new ideas that are bankable, that can create employment, that can help to reduce poverty in your country,” he added.

The social innovation event being run by two ministries is part of a series of innovation camps which will be held across Somalia and which will give young Somalis between the ages of 19 and 30 a chance to come up with innovative solutions to address development challenges in Somalia.

According to the UNDP, such business ideas or prototypes might be the establishment of a new company, a new NGO, or expanding the work of existing organizations with a scale-up plan.

“The core idea is that Somali challenges are tackled with Somali solutions, implemented by Somali people, and are locally owned and driven,” the UNDP said.

The innovation camps aim to support the government in implementing its National Development Plan, by using innovation to turn development challenges into serious social and economic ventures.

Abdi Dirshe, Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, welcomed the young people to the event on behalf of the Somali Federal Government.

“This initiative will greatly contribute to the recovery and development of Somalia. We want to benefit from the skills and innovation of the Somali youth to address the challenges that are affecting our country,” he said.

The event, which will conclude with a finale on Oct. 9 with the young people forming teams to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and win support for their idea.

The successful team who enter the UNDP incubation program will receive further mentoring and support to develop their business idea into a viable product or enterprise, and will go into a shortlist to receive financial support for their idea.


UNEP warns climate change to escalate conflicts in Horn of Africa

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Horn of Africa region could become an epicenter of violent conflicts as climatic shocks intensify the scramble for grazing lands and water, the Executive Director of UN Environment Program (UNEP), Erik Solheim said.

Speaking during screening of a film called “A Climate for Conflict” in Nairobi on Wednesday night, Solheim noted that global warming will be the main driver of civil strife, terrorism and forced migration in the greater horn of African region.

“There is no denying that climate change will remain a big security challenge not only in Somalia but also in other Horn of African countries. Communities will continue fighting over over-stretched natural resources such as land, pasture and water,” Solheim remarked.

The documentary, which was produced by two British filmmakers, sought to shed light on the devastating impact of rising temperatures on pastoralists and farmers inside the Horn of African State.

It was screened ahead of the UN global climate summit to be held in the German city of Bonn from Nov. 6 to 17 where governments will renew pledge to cut down on emission of gases responsible for rising temperatures.

The UNEP official said that the link between climate change and insecurity will be given due attention during the upcoming global climate talks.

“Climate change has not spared any nation and is one of the amplifiers of instability in many parts of the world. It has undermined peaceful co-existence among communities in the Horn of Africa,” said Solheim.

He added that massive investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation is key to promote sustainable development and stability in East and Horn of African region.

Horn of African governments and their bilateral partners should revitalize action on environmental stresses that are fuelling conflicts, violent extremism and mass migration.

Rashid Abdi, the Horn of Africa Project Director at the International Crisis Group, said that climate change has worsened depletion of natural capital and animosity between herders and farmers in the region.

“Climatic stresses are creating conditions for armed conflicts and terrorism to thrive in this region,” Abdi remarked adding that any attempts to promote conflict resolution in the Horn of Africa region should incorporate ecosystems restoration.


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