Monday February 18, 2019
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AU, Somali forces capture villages from Al-Shabaab in Somalia

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Mogadishu: The Africa Union (AU) forces, alongside Somali government troops, on Thursday captured several villages in central Somalia’s Hiran region from Al-Shabaab militants, a local official said.

Photo Credit: www.dailystormer.com
Photo Credit: www.dailystormer.com

Hiran region mayor Abdifitah Hassan Afrah said the joint forces seized the villages after fierce battles during which the AU fighter jets conducted air strikes on the militants, Xinhua news agency reported.

Afrah said four villages were retaken and the militants took heavy causalities.

“This operation is aimed to liberate all villages controlled by Al-Shabaab in Hiran region, and AU warplanes carried out airstrikes against the enemies to force them to flee these villages,” he said.

He also denied that there were casualties on the joint forces side.

“The fighting was huge and we heard heavy explosions because fighter jets were involved in the battle,” said local resident Adan Said.

(IANS)

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Special Representative Of The United States Asked To Leave Somalia

No political agenda can be served through violence that deliberately targets staff members of international organizations

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USA, Somalia
Then the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Feb. 18, 2015. VOA

Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia, has been asked by the Somalia government to leave the country.

“The decision came after the highest U.N. diplomat in Somalia violated the agency’s standards and the international diplomatic norms by intervening the national sovereignty of Somalia,” according to the statement published by the government-controlled media.

The statement gave no further details.

Human rights a concern

On Monday, the U.N. ambassador urged the Somali government to safeguard human rights.

hunger, health care, somalia
IOM delivers emergency and essential health services to Bulla Gaduud and Gobweyn, areas recently liberated by the government in Lower Juba region of south-eastern Somalia. VOA

In a letter, Haysom urged Somali authorities to “exercise its authority in conformance with the law and provide explanation about the atrocities committed in Baidoa last month and the detention of Mukhtar Robow.”

Robow, a former al-Shabab leader, was arrest by the Somali government security forces last month. He also was excluded from elections in the South West Region of Somalia.

During his arrest, and the protests that followed, allegations came up that U.N.-supported regional police forces were involved in violence that left 15 civilians dead.

Analysts believe Haysom’s earlier letter and the subsequent Somali government decision to expel him shows the relationship between the two sides has been unstable.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Haysom as Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) in September 2018.

hunger, health care, somalia
Faduma Hussein Yagoub, a polio sufferer, came with her family to Dadaab from Somalia. Her husband and two of her five young children died of hunger on the way. Despite the dangers thousands of refugees every week are making the journey, walking for weeks across the desert and braving attacks by armed robbers and wild animals:

UN compound attack

On Tuesday, just hours before the Somali government’s letter of expulsion was released to the media, two U.N. staff members and a contractor were injured after seven mortars landed inside the U.N. compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The staffers’ nationalities were not immediately available, but the officials at the compound said none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Also Read: Video: Withdrawal of US Troops From Syria May Move Slower Than Expected

“Today’s indirect fire attack on the main U.N. compound in Mogadishu may amount to a violation of international humanitarian law, and I deplore this unwarranted act of aggression against our personnel,” Haysom said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

In a statement posted on a pro-al-Shabab website, the militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“No political agenda can be served through violence that deliberately targets staff members of international organizations who are supporting the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of governing institutions in Somalia,” Haysom added. (VOA)