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New United Nations envoy in Mogadishu commends
African Union troops for helping to stabilize Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The newly appointed UN envoy in Somalia on Wednesday lauded the critical role played by the African Union troops in ongoing efforts to stabilize Somalia.

James Swan, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia who arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday, pledged to collaborate with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to help support peace efforts in the Horn of Africa nation.

"We have no more important non-Somali partner than the African Union. This relationship is critical to our collective regional and international efforts to support Somalia and the Somali people," Swan said in a statement issued by the AU mission.

The U.S. national who was appointed to the position by UN chief Antonio Guterres in May met with senior AMISOM officials led by Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia in his first engagement in Mogadishu. Swan saluted African Union troops for fighting armed groups and pledged cooperation to restore peace in Somalia.

In his remarks, Madeira said AMISOM would benefit from Swan’s vast knowledge of Somalia, having served as a political officer in the Office of the U.S. special envoy for Somalia from 1994 to 1996.

"We will seek coordination, collaboration, and harmonization of positions to ensure that aspects of inclusive politics are enhanced in order to yield results," Madeira said.


Ambassador Francisco Madeira [left], the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia | Coastweek

Ambassador Francisco Madeira [left], the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, shakes hands with James Swan, the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, at the AMISOM Mission Headquarters in Mogadishu. AMISOM PHOTO - ILYAS AHMED


Eight militants killed while 12 others injured in Somalia's southern region

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali forces on Saturday killed 8 militants and injured 12 others in clashes between government forces and al-Shabab extremists in Moro Gabey, a village 30 km away from Hudur town in the country’s southern region of Bakol, officials confirmed on Sunday.

Mohamed Mo’alim Ahmed, commissioner of Hudur town told journalists that the clashes erupted after government forces launched an attack on militants who were forcefully collecting taxes from the residents of Moro Gabey village.

"Our forces managed to kill eight of the terrorists and injured 12 others," Ahmed said, noting that the government forces had lost four soldiers and two others sustained injuries during the operation.

"Heavily armed forces attacked the militants in the village, the two sides exchanged heavy gunfight and there were casualties, but we can’t indicate the exact figure," Lul Omar, a local resident told Xinhua by phone.

The move came after the government forces on Thursday also killed 8 al-Shabab militants in an operation in Jamame town in the country’s southern region of Lower Juba.

Somali forces have intensified the operations on al-Qaida affiliated group in central and southern regions to flush the militants out.


Eight militants killed in southern Somalia region of Lower Juba

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali security forces on Thursday night killed 8 militants in southern Somali, officials said on Friday.

According to a spokesman from the Somali security ministry and internal affairs of Jubbaland, the militants were killed in a joint offensive launched by Jubbaland and the Somali Special Forces in Jamame town in Somalia’s southern region of Lower Juba.

"Our forces inflicted heavy casualties on the militants in the operation," the spokesman said, adding that the security forces destroyed the militants’ base in Jamame town where the militants used to plan attacks on government forces.

Local residents confirmed that there was confrontation in the town.

"Government forces launched an attack on the extremists’ hideout.

"There was heavy fighting and the militants fled the town," Yahye Ahmed, a local resident told Xinhua by phone.

Recently, Somali forces backed by African Union Mission in Somalia have stepped up operations on al-Qaida affiliated extremists in some central and southern regions.

About three weeks ago, Somali forces killed three al-Shabab militants in an operation in the country’s southern region of Gedo.

Somalia and African Union forces arrest two senior al-Shabab commanders

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali and the African Union peacekeeping forces have arrested two senior al-Shabab commanders who were planning to carry out attack in southern region.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said on Thursday Abrahim Noou, an al-Shabab commander and his intelligence staff were arrested near Muri town during a sting security operation.

The AU mission said the allied forces captured the two as they were planning to attack Ei Salin.

"The culprits have been handed over to NISA," the AU mission said in a statement.

The arrest comes as the allied forces have stepped security operations across the Horn of Africa nation.

AMISOM has promised to continue supporting the transition through the priority tasks including securing main supply routes, securing key population centers, and assist Somali security forces.

United States airstrike kills al-Shabab terrorist in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The U.S. military said Thursday that an airstrike conducted on Tuesday left one al-Shabab terrorist dead in southern Somalia.

The United States Africa Command (Africom) said no civilians were injured or killed as a result of the airstrike which was conducted in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow.

"Airstrikes also provide opportunities to build time and space for the Federal Government of Somalia to continue its efforts to provide good governance and security for its people," Africom said in a statement.

It said precision airstrikes continue to put pressure on the al-Shabab network and degrade its efforts to intimidate and terrorize the local population.

Africom, which has in the past conducted counterterrorism airstrikes against the terror group in Somalia said these strikes damage the militants’ financial networks and inhibit their freedom of movement in the region

The U.S. forces, in cooperation with Somalia government and African Union peacekeeping mission, are conducting 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 and in America.

AMISOM seeks to enhance efficiency in investigations

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Friday it has started efforts to enhance efficiency in investigating critical security incidents to ensure proper compensation is made.

Nakibus Lakara, AMISOM deputy force commander in charge of operations and plans, said the review process will include all components, mainly the military, police and civilian units, to guarantee that decisions made on critical incidents, involving AMISOM personnel, are based on agreed standard operating procedures (SOPs).

"During the course of AMISOM operations, it has been noted that the constitution and management of the boards of inquiry in general have been faced with various challenges which include, administrative processing delays and application of different SOPs," Lakara said during a meeting in Mogadishu, according to a statement from the AU mission.

Lakara said the meeting will address and review anomalies and inconsistencies in different SOPs applied by the different components of the Mission.

Henry Nampandu, AMISOM’s legal officer said the meeting will help harmonize the Mission’s compensation standards in accordance with the existing international laws.

According to AMISOM, in the event of an incident that leads to the disability and/or death of personnel and the loss or damage of Mission property or casualties of third parties and the loss of or damage to their property, the mission is required to carry out a compensation process through legal provisions encapsulated in the African Union legal and regulatory frameworks.

African Union medical planner Achamyelesh Debela urged the leadership to ensure the SOPs are harmonised, by taking into consideration lessons learned and challenges faced by various components when investigating incidents and compensating those affected.


New Special Representative of UN Secretary-General pledges collaboration with AMISOM


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