MOGADISHU (Xinhua) --
The United States military confirmed Monday its
special forces killed eight Al-Shabaab militants in the latest
drone strikes carried out on Friday evening in Somalia.
The U.S. Africa
Command (Africom) said the operation which also left one vehicle
destroyed occurred about 48km northwest of Kismayo in southern
with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an
airstrike against Al-Shabaab militants in the early evening
hours on Friday, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo,
killing eight terrorists and destroying one vehicle,” Africom
said in a statement.
“We assess no
civilians were killed in the strike,” it added, noting that the
U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate
measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats.
The attack comes
after Somalia’s defense minister Mohamed Ali Haga said on Friday
the country needed increased U.S. drone strikes to counter the
militant groups in the country as African Union forces begin to
exit the country later this month.
“If we don’t have
the support of the Americans, we cannot stand on our own feet.
The Somali security sector is still disorganized. And we need
more drone strikes because a drone can strike the snake in the
head,” Haga said.
The U.S. forces have
carried out a series of drone strikes in the past month in
Somalia, targeting Islamist States and Al-Shabaab fighters as
the African Union peacekeeping mission prepares to exit the
Somali and Amisom
forces have also intensified military operations against the
insurgents, flushing them in their Lower and Middle Shabelle
region bases amid an expected recall of 1,000 African Union
troops by end of December.
UNHCR repatriates 74,141 Somali
refugees from Kenya
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN refugee agency said Monday it has
repatriated some 74,141 Somali refugees from Kenya as at Nov. 15
since the voluntary return exercise began three years ago.
The UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in its bi-weekly update
released in Nairobi that some 32, 478 refugees were supported to
return to their home in Somalia in 2017 alone.
The UN refugee said
a total of 71,792 individuals from Dadaab refugee camp in
northeast Kenya had been assisted in the framework of voluntary
return to Somalia since the launch of voluntary repatriation on
December 8, 2014.
“As at Nov. 15,
there were 18,140 refugees registered in our database willing to
return to Somalia, with 12,874 being registered in 2017 alone,”
the UN agency said.
The UNHCR also
confirmed the resumption of voluntary return by road was cleared
by the Kenyan government, however due to heavy rains, roads are
not passable on the Somalia side.
According to the UN
agency, a total of 4,949 non-Somali refugees were relocated to
Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya. “The relocation is
currently suspended due to the limited absorption capacity and
services in Kalobeyei,” it said.
Kenya, which hosted
protracted negotiations that culminated in the formation of the
transitional federal government of Somalia, says the refugee
situation continues to pose security threats to Nairobi and the
region apart from the humanitarian crisis.
The East African
nation which has been planning to close the Dadaab refugee camp,
has cited the influence of terror group Al-Shabaab as among the
risks of keeping the camps open.
An estimated two
million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s most
protracted humanitarian crises that have now entered its third
An estimated 1.1
million people are internally displaced (IDPs) within Somalia
and nearly 900,000 are refugees in the region.
continuing political and security stabilization progress in
Somalia, along with growing pressures in hosting countries,
makes this a critical moment to renew efforts to find durable
solutions for Somali refugees.