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Al-Shabaab attacks Kenyan army base in Somalia

La Qoray

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The al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabaab has claimed to have killed at least 63 Kenyan soldiers in an assault on an African Union base in western Somalia.

The raid, confirmed by Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, comes a day after Somali political leaders gathered to plan a road map for parliamentary and presidential elections due later this year. Analysts said the attack was probably designed to remind the nation and the international community that the group still posed a major threat to stability despite losing large stretches of territory.

Abdiaziz Abu Musab, a spokesman for al-Shabaab, said on local radio that the group’s forces launched the early morning attack on the base in the town of El-Adde, near the Ethiopian border. Sixty-three Kenyan soldiers were killed and 28 vehicles had been seized, he said.

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Mr Kenyatta confirmed the attack on a Kenyan “camp” in the town and admitted some troops had died, but declined to give any casualty figures.

He insisted the attack would not prompt Kenya to withdraw its troops from Somalia, where they have been since 2011 as part of the AU force Amisom trying to defeat al-Shabaab and restore order to the country that has been ravaged by civil war for more than a decade.

“We will not be cowed by these cowards,” Mr Kenyatta said in a statement. “With our allies, we will continue in Somalia to fulfil our mission. We will hunt down the criminals involved in today’s events. Our soldiers’ blood will not be shed in vain.”

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Earlier, Colonel David Obonyo, a Kenyan military spokesman, said it was a Somali army base that was attacked and that Kenyan troops counter-attacked and intensified operations against al-Shabaab. Local media reported that military jets attacked al-Shabaab positions on Friday afternoon.

Amisom also confirmed the attack but gave no details.

Somalia-based al-Shabaab has increasingly turned its attention to Kenyan targets as it has lost ground in its native Somalia. It was responsible for the attack on a university in the Kenyan town of Garissa last year that killed almost 150 people, and a raid on a Nairobi shopping mall in 2013 that left 67 dead.

Kenya responded to those attacks with air strikes on al-Shabaab training camps and by cracking down on illegal money transfers to the group.

In the past year al-Shabaab has also attacked bases and convoys of other members of the 22,000-strong Amisom force,

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News In English

Somaliland Head To Polls For Councillors And MPs On May 31, 2021 Last updated May 31, 2021

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Waxaa Qoray

Voters in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland are heading to the polls on May, 31 to choose their member of parliament for the first time since 2005.

Somaliland broke off from mainland Somalia after the regime of Siad Barre in 1991.

The 5.2 Million citizens of Somaliland will be making yet another stab at global recognition as some 1.3 million voters head to the polls to choose 82 members of parliament and 247 local councils.

An election whose measure of democracy Somaliland hopes to use in its quest to certify its sovereignty.

Somaliland’s three political parties in the polls are opposition politicians Faisal Warabe’s UCID, Wadani led by another opposition leader Abdirahman Erye and President Muse Bihi Kulmiye party.

The elections is observed by over a hundred international observers including Uganda’s former opposition leader, Kizza Besigye and ex-president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Korma.

”Our visit to the headquarters of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission left us with a good impression about the Commission’s preparedness to conduct peaceful and credible elections,” said in a Twitter post.

The elections are taking place in six regions of Somaliland, namely Awdal, Sahil, Marodi-Jeeh, Toghdeer, Sanaag and Sool.

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3 Somalia Regional States Say No To Farmaajo Term Extension.

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Waxaa Qoray

The regional state leaders of Southwest, HirShabelle, and Galmudug allied with incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo have opposed to any form of extension on Tuesday evening.

In a joint statement Galmudug and HirShabelle called for dialogue based on 17 September pact.

“We agreed that the country should hold elections as soon as possible and that any form of extension should be abolished,” read part of the joint statement by HirShabelle and Galmudug.

Southwest leader Abdiaziz laftagaren also opposed the term extension of the President just an hour after Galmudug and HirShabelle released a joint statement.

The move by the three regional states allied to President was welcomed by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble who also instructed the military commanders to pull back forces to their locations and barracks.

“I would like to welcome the press statements made by Galmudug and HirShabelle federal states, ” PM Roboe said in a statement.

“I call on the FMS states of Puntland and Jubaland and Benadir region to fully commit to a peaceful process in our efforts to hold free and inclusive election, ” he added.

United Nations, United Kingdom, United States and opposition leaders including former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud commended the move by the regional states.

“The UN in Somalia noting statements by Qoorqqor, Ali Gudlawe, PM Roble and others recalls int’l partners position: consensus is vital for any electoral process; only 17 September model can be endorsed by FGS and all FMS; all parties must reject violence and resume dialogue, ” the United Nations said.

The development comes as families in some parts of Mogadishu fleed from their residences and moved to other district followings clashes.

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Somali Gov’t Warns Al-Shabaab & ISIS Will Capitalize On SNA Faction Clashes.

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Waxaa Qoray

Somali National Security Minister Hassan Hundubey has warned opposition groups to be wary of “unknown elements” including Al-Shabaab and Daesh who might seek to use the current crisis to inflict harm to the public.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday said that the government may take action to confront people with the “behaviour of militias” who are taking advantage of the situation.

“The government has enough troops to take control of the city. It is Ramadan, but more actions need to be taken to prevent it.” mr. Hundebey said.

”The reason the prime minister called for dialogue is that the government does not want the fighting to affect the residence,” he added.

The remarks by the interior minister come hours after the international partners strongly condemned the outbreak of violence in the capital.

“We are alarmed especially by the emerging fragmentation of the Somali National Army along clan lines, which detracts from its primary task of combating Al Shabab and protecting the Somali population. Use of security forces for the pursuit of political objectives is unacceptable” the statement read in part.

As tensions increase in Mogadishu following Sunday clashes between government soldiers and those who were against President Farmaajo’s two years term extension.

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