Somali regional leaders hand in arms

Powerful Somali leaders controlling the capital, Mogadishu, have started surrendering weapons, the first time in 14 years, in a major disarmament programme aimed at restoring stability to the country.

    Somalia has been run by factional leaders since 1991

    The leaders gathered at a stadium in southern Mogadishu and handed over dozens of battle wagons - pickup trucks with anti-aircraft artillery or large-calibre machine guns mounted in their wells - and hundreds of machine guns to the country's Deputy Prime Minister Mohamoud Abdullahi Jama.

    Voluntary disarmament

    "This is the beginning of a voluntary disarmament by the Somalis. It is a milestone for the relocation of the Somali government to the capital of Mogadishu," Jama told the men.

    The commanders are also ministers in the transitional government exiled in Kenya.

    "These are not our weapons any more; they belong to the Somali people," Musa Sudi Yalahow told hundreds of Somalis who attended the ceremony.

    It is the first time the leaders are surrendering arms since 1991, when toppling of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre plunged the nation into anarchy, they said.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.