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US Ambassador to Somalia Resigns

The U.S. ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz has resigned, citing personal reasons, the embassy confirmed Friday. An emailed statement to VOA said the ambassador resigned September 29. It provided no further details. Schwartz was sworn in as the 13th United States ambassador to Somalia in June last year. As ambassador, he headed the U.S. mission to Somalia, which is located in the U.S. embassy in Nairobi ...

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Ousted Somali state president reinstated, declares state of emergency

Ousted president of Somalia’s Galmudug State Ahmed Haaf has declared a three-month state of emergency after he was reinstated amid the political crisis in the semi-autonomous region. The reinstatement was followed by an emergency parliamentary sitting which resulted in the sacking of speaker of parliament Ali Ga’al Asir and Haaf’s deputy Mohamed Haashi Abdi Arabey on Saturday night in a vote of no confidenc ...

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Police chief at airport in Somalia’s Puntland shot dead

A policeman shot dead on Monday the chief of security at an airport in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region and also his bodyguard, police said. The assailant’s motive for killing Colonel Abdisalan Sanyare Owke and his bodyguard at the airport in Galkayo, a city in Puntland, was not immediately clear. Police detained the assailant and have begun an investigation of the incident, said Mohamed Jama, anot ...

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Turkey sets up largest overseas army base in Somalia

Turkey has set up its biggest overseas military base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, increasing Ankara's presence in the Horn of Africa country. Officially opened on Saturday, the base, which reportedly cost $50m, will train 10,000 Somali troops and has the capacity to train at least 1,500 soldiers at a time, according to Turkish and Somali officials. "This is the largest training base of its kind outside ...

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Trump Poised to Drop Limits on Drone Strikes and Commando Raids in Somalia, Yemen and other jihadist hotbeds.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to dismantle key Obama-era limits on drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional battlefields, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations. The changes would lay the groundwork for possible counterterrorism missions in countries where Islamic militants are active but the United States has not previously tried to kill or capture the ...

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US forces increase Somalia airstrikes amid uncertainty over future

An intensifying U.S. airstrike campaign against Somalia is unlikely by itself to defeat a resilient band of al-Qaida-aligned militants, a fact that could tempt the U.S. to wade deeper into a country faced with the departure of an African force that has offered protection for a decade. The uptick in U.S. strikes against al-Shabab targets — 13 different attacks since June — is part of a hurried effort to degr ...

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Nine killed in fighting between different branches of Somali government forces: police

Fighting between the military and police backed by intelligence forces killed nine people in the Somali capital on Saturday, police said. “It seems they mistook the Somali national army for (clan) militias. The death toll is nine people including a civilian,” Major Abdullahi Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. He said the fighting occurred because police were wrongly informed that there were armed mili ...

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Somali book fair offers respite from bombs

Long associated with pirates, famine and bombs, Somalia showed a different face to the world this week as it welcomed foreign writers for the first time to its annual book fair. The event took place for the third time in the scarred seaside capital Mogadishu, but until now security was too precarious for overseas authors to take part. Their participation is a sign that things are changing as government troo ...

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US says it targeted Al-Shabaab members on 3 airstrikes in southern Somalia

The U.S. military says it has carried out three "precision airstrikes" in southern Somalia that killed six members of the al-Shabab extremist group. A U.S. Africa Command statement says the strikes occurred Wednesday morning about 260 kilometers (160 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu. The statement, unlike previous ones, does not give more information on the location of the strikes. The U.S. military h ...

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Somali troops flee to Kenya to escape Al-Shabaab attack

Somali soldiers, some of them wounded, fled across the border into Kenya during an attack by Islamic militants on the town of Bulo Hawo on Monday, security sources said. At least 12 people died when fighters from the Al-Qaeda-aligned Shabaab group attacked the border town, according to witnesses, while many soldiers fled westward a few kilometres to the Kenyan town of Mandera. "We have several of the soldie ...

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