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

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.