Saturday, May 26, 2012

US-backed Somalia TFG Forces Say They Have Taken Afgoye From Al-Shabaab

Somali govt. troops capture Afgoye, al-Shabab forces flee

Sun May 27, 2012 2:36AM GMT

Somali government forces backed by African Union troops have taken full control of a strategic town in southern Somalia after hundreds of al-Shabab fighters vacated the area following a few hours of resistance, Press TV reports.

On Saturday, Somali military officials told Press TV that the bulk of al-Shabab fighters had fled their key stronghold in Afgoye town, located in the Shabeellaha Hoose region of southern Somalia, 27 kilometers (16 miles) northwest of Mogadishu, after columns of troops moved in to capture the area.

“Our troops have captured all parts of Afgoye and most of the town is under the coalition's control. The troops are now consolidating their positions and preparing for the final push to flush out al-Shabab remnants,” Somali General Abdullahi Osman Agey said.

The loss of Afgoye is another major blow for al-Shabab fighters, who have been on the back foot for several months. However, on Saturday they vowed to intensify their war against government and African Union troops.

“We will continue the war and we will win the battle without doubt," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for al-Shabab's military operations, said.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years and is propped up by a 12,000-strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.

Somalia to have federal government

Friday, 25 May 2012 23:46
The Star

SOMALI will finally have a federal government in 90 days, United Nations Political Office for Somalia has said.

Speaking yesterday just two days after the Addis Ababa consultative meeting of the Somali Signatories of the process for ending the transition, the UN secretary special representative on Somalia Augustine Mahiga said the meeting had resolved to put up systems to end the transitional system and install a new government by August 20.

He said the Addis meeting was "extremely successful" as it cleared many obstacles that had blocked the drafting and adoption of the provisional new Somali constitution and ending of the transitional period. “Somalia is less than ninety days away from the most momentous even in its recent history. The agreements made in Addis Ababa cleared the road of any procedural obstacles. The timetable can only be revised backwards, we have no time lose, no moment to spare and the mood rife, what we should be thinking about is how will the morning of August 21,” Mahiga said.

He said the signatories to the Road-map had agreed that traditional elders now meeting in Mogadishu would select the delegates for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) not later than June 20. The assembly will convene on July 2 to choose the members of the new Somali parliament, in a month selection process to be validated by arbitration committee comprised of the Elders themselves. A process that will see the number of members of Somali parliament cut from the current 550 to 225 members only.

The communique signed by the signatories also recommends that in order to take action on critical legislation currently stuck in the Somali parliament, TFG president will use a presidential decree to convene the NCA, steer the constitutional process towards the adoption stage and adopt the long-pending National security and stabilization plan which lays the foundation for the development of the Somali justice and security sector.

However, the communique emphasized that no delay or obstruction will be accepted by the Somali people or the international community, and spoilers will be identified and named for appropriate action on them by Somali and international stakeholders. “We already have the suspects whom we are monitoring and if they continue we shall name them as well as ask the regional governments to enforce sanctions on them which will include travel bans,” Mahiga said.


Somalia: Puntland agrees for Mauritius to temporarily imprison pirates

May 26, 2012 - 10:08:16 AM
PORT LOUIS, Mauritius
Garowe Online

The Puntland government signed an agreement with Mauritius to temporarily hold inmates convicted of piracy until Puntland detention facilities meet the international standard, Radio Garowe reports.

Saeed Mohamed Ragge, Minister of Ports, Sea Transport and Counter Piracy for Puntland met with Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navinchandra Ramgoolam and various Mauritanian government officials. Minister Ragge's delegation included Puntland Chief of Corrections Officers, Gen. Ali Nuur Omar.

The purpose of the meeting was to reach an agreement on how convicted pirates captured at sea would be incarcerated and for how long. After a long closed door meeting with the Prime Minister both government officials reached an agreement for tried and convicted pirates to be jailed in Mauritius until the facilities reach the UN standard.

The agreement says that the convicted pirates will finish there sentences in their land after the Puntland government has constructed proper facilities to house the convicted pirates.

The meeting was also attended by Legal Adviser of Denmark on piracy off the coast of Somalia Thomas Winkler and officials from UN Office for Drugs and Crime, who are currently working with Puntland and Mauritius to improve the quality of detention facilities.

The Mauritius government agreed to help improve the quality of Puntland corrections facilities through funding by the UN and the international community.

There are hundreds of Somali pirates that are jailed in countries across the world due partly to the lack of quality detention facilities according to international standards.

Mauritius signed an agreement with the EU last July to house convicted Somali pirates.


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