Friday, 17 August 2012

AU Special Envoy congratulates 602 Somali Army graduands

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Mission for Somalia, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra has sent his congratulations to the Somali National Army after over 600 Somali troops on Tuesday August,14 graduated from African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) organized training in Uganda and at the Jazeera Training Camp in Mogadishu.
Ambassador Diarra said that the graduates would provide a major boost for the Somalia’s security efforts as it nears the critical transition period. “AMISOM is working hard to train up the Somali National Army and Somali Police Force so they will eventually be able to fully assume responsibility for the nation’s security,” he said.
Ambassador Diarra reaffirmed the African Union’s commitment to supporting the country’s peace process saying that AMISOM was deploying extra troops and police to beef up security in Mogadishu in the run up to the elections. “Our role is to ensure that the campaigns and elections are carried out within a secure environment,” he said. “AMISOM remains impartial and we urge all to respect the choice of the Somali people,” he added.
Three weeks ago a provisional constitution was overwhelmingly adopted by a National Constituent Assembly and the country is now in the final stages of appointing a new parliament which will elect a new President. Campaigns are in full swing across the city and AMISOM has urged the Somali security forces to respect the citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly and expression.
And Al Shabaab militants in Jowhar town, Middle Shabelle, have allegedly started confiscating Zakat-ul-fitri from local Quran teachers who were the absolute beneficiaries of the payment at the end of Ramadhan. 
Zakat-ul-fitri is alms paid by Muslims at the end of Ramadhan to needy people to allow them enjoy the Eid which marks the end of the month-long fasting and is mostly paid in terms of food stuff.
Traditionally, in Somalia, Quran teachers receive the Fitrah from their students who collect it from their families at the end of every Ramadan. But this time, things worked against Quran teachers in Jowhar. 
A local teacher who requested not to be named for fear of reprisal said that three armed militants on Wednesday forcefully took away a sack of maize that was collected by his students as Zakat-ul-fitri.
  Courtesy of AMISOM and Agencies

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