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    Somalia to Unveil Security Plan

    A Ugandan soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia stands guard during the removal of a haul of 155mm artillery shells that were found in a house deep inside a former Al Shabab stronghold in the Somali capital Mogadishu, August 12, 2011
    A Ugandan soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia stands guard during the removal of a haul of 155mm artillery shells that were found in a house deep inside a former Al Shabab stronghold in the Somali capital Mogadishu, August 12, 2011

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    • Clottey interview with Abdirahman Omar Osman, Somali government spokesman

    Peter Clottey

    An official of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) says the administration will soon unveil a “holistic” plan to bolster security in the capital, Mogadishu, and other parts of the country.

    Government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said the plan is the administration’s commitment to ensuring unarmed civilians are protected from attacks by the Islamic insurgent group, al-Shabab.

    “The government of Somalia has completed the initial draft of our national and security stabilization plan. It is a document that will help us bring peace and stability not only in Somalia, but [also] to the Horn of Africa,” said Osman. “The document is holistic in terms of dealing with the multi-faceted nature of security issues, which includes community participation [and] engaging with the people.”

    A few weeks ago, Islamic militant group al-Shabab abruptly withdrew from the capital following daily clashes with African Union Peacekeepers (AMISOM) and government forces.

    A spokesman for the insurgents said its decision was a “tactical move” that would allow it to redeploy its troops to other parts of the country.

    But Somalia's Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, called the pullout “a tremendous step forward” toward establishing a more stable country.

    The TFG said it will expand security to unarmed civilians despite the militants’ threats to employ guerilla tactics.

    Meanwhile, officials of the United Nations are scheduled to meet with the TFG government this week over the security challenges in Somalia.

    “We expect the U.N. and the international partners coming to Mogadishu for a joint security committee meeting will discuss and finalize this [security] draft [plan]. This is a big step forward that shows the government’s commitment towards its people,” said Osman. “

    Al-Shabab barred some aid agencies from providing help to those living in areas under its control. It also accused the United Nations of using the famine as a propaganda tool, an accusation both the world body and the TFG sharply deny.

    Osman expressed hope that both the U.N. and the TFG’s international partners will implement the draft.

    He said the stabilization plan also includes protecting humanitarian aid workers delivering relief supplies to Somalis affected by the ongoing drought and famine.

    “The plan includes humanitarian assistance [protection] and how we can help the aid agencies to freely reach out to those who are desperately in need [of assistance],” said Osman. “This plan covers DDR [Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration] for our young people and how we can reintegrate them with our militia and how we can rehabilitate them.”

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