News / Africa

Withdrawal of Islamic Insurgents a ‘Golden Opportunity,’ says Somali Government Official

Somalis from southern Somalia receive food distributed by the Muslim Aid Organization in Mogadishu, Somalia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011.
Somalis from southern Somalia receive food distributed by the Muslim Aid Organization in Mogadishu, Somalia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Omar Osman, Somali govenrment spokesman

Peter Clottey

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) says it is launching a program to stabilize the capital, Mogadishu, following the withdrawal of hard-line Islamic insurgent group, al-Shabab.

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

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

Government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said the administration’s ability to control the entire capital is a "golden opportunity" for international humanitarian groups to provide aid to more people affected by the ongoing drought and famine.

Described by Washington as a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda, al-Shabab has vowed to overthrow the western-backed government and implement the strictest form of Sharia law.

Militants of the group frequently fight government forces and peacekeepers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Until it relinquished its positions, al-Shabab controlled large portions of Mogadishu.  Government officials said it will expand security to unarmed civilians, despite the militants’ threats to employ guerilla tactics.

“We have started a strategy to stabilize Mogadishu,” said Osman.  “What we are planning is law and order [in] those new areas that have come under our control. We are also trying to put in [place] basic infrastructure [including] institutions [that] can provide basic services to our people.”

Among the areas receiving enhanced protection are the economic centers of the city.

“We have also planned [to provide security for] the big markets [including] Bakara in order to ensure that the business community [is] not subjected to insecurity or looting,” said Osman.

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

Osman said it’s time for humanitarian aid agencies to move quickly to provide relief to Mogadishu and the rest of the country.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid