(Xinhua) -- Leaders of five Somali
regional states on Saturday resolved to suspend relations with
the central government, citing a lack of political and security
progress in the Horn of Africa nation.
In a joint
statement issued at the end of a two-day meeting in southern
port city of Kismayo, the leaders from Jubaland, Puntland,
Southwest, Galmudug and Hirshabelle regions also accused the
central government of interfering with regional issues, failure
to implement security architecture and not fulfilling political
"From the perspective of the key elements of co-operation
between the two parties, the Council suspended cooperation
between the central government and the states," the leaders said
in the statement.
The regional presidents criticized the central government for
failing in the fight against al-Shabab, saying there was no
proper coordination between the African Union Mission in Somalia
(AMISOM) troops and national security forces.
They also cited lack of tangible progress in the
constitutional making process, saying Mogadishu has done little
to ensure that the country holds a one-person-one-vote elections
The presidents’ meeting under the Council of Inter-State
Cooperation (CIC) added that there lacks a mechanism for sharing
national resources between the regional states and the
The leaders said they will only resume normal ties with
Mogadishu until all the agreements reached in the past meetings
held in the capital and Baidoa are implemented.
The regional presidents: Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas (Puntland),
Ahmed Duale Gelle (Galmudug), Mohamed Abdi Ware (Hirshabelle),
Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden (South West State) and Sheikh Ahmed
Madobe (Jubaland) also decried lack of sharing of foreign aid.
There was no immediate response from the central government.
Analysts say the resolutions are the latest political setback
by the central government which is trying to partner with the
international community to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.
Four Somali soldiers
killed in al-Shabab attack
at a checkpoint in southwestern region of Bay
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
At least four Somali soldiers were killed and
four others injured Saturday in an al-Shabab attack at a
checkpoint in southwestern region of Bay in Somalia, officials
A military commander who requested not to be identified told
Xinhua the attack happened in the early hours of Saturday in
Makuda village on the outskirts of Baidoa in Bay region.
"They (al-Shabab) attacked our forces and we responded in a
heavy gun battle. We lost four soldiers during the fighting
while four others were injured but we inflicted heavy casualties
on them," the military official said.
Residents said there were huge blasts in early morning
followed by gun fire in the area.
"We could hear heavy exchange of fire and blasts coming from
the side of Makuda," Guled Abdullahi, a resident, said.
"People said al-Shabab had attacked a check point manned by
The militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for
the attack saying it killed five soldiers and seized weapons.
The group still controls large swathes of territory in the
Bay and Bakol regions.
Meanwhile, unidentified warplanes conducted airstrikes in
southern town of Jilib on Saturday in the latest strikes
targeting senior al-Shabab commanders in the Horn of Africa
Local residents reported hearing heavy assaults targeting
members of the terror group near Jilib town, in Middle Jubba
Harassed journalists in
Somalia continue to face difficulties and even death
MOGADISGHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Journalists in Somalia continue to face
difficulties including death despite progress in defense of
human rights, the UN has said.
In a report released on Thursday evening, the United Nations
Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said challenges remain for
journalists and media workers, citing killings, harassment,
arbitrary arrest and illegal detention.
"Despite some efforts and progress in the legislative field,
regrettably violations and abuses concerning the right to
freedom of expression continued to be recorded," the UN
secretary-general’s special representative for Somalia, Michael
Keating, said at the report’s launch in the Somali capital.
According to the report, eight journalists and media workers
were killed and 32 others injured between August 2016 and July
In the same period, 94 journalists and media workers were
arbitrarily arrested on charges related to the exercise of
freedom of expression.
The report notes the number of journalists killed during the
period under review had decreased by 27 percent compared to the
January 2014 and August 2016.
The report calls on Somali authorities to move fast in
implementing measures to protect journalists and other media
workers and prosecute alleged perpetrators of violations against
the media workers and political actors.
It also recommends the establishment of the Somali Federal
Human Rights Commission to champion protection of human and
al-Shabaab earns US $10 million by smuggling Somalia