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Somali army close to autonomy as AU ramp up forces’ withdraw

Somali army close to autonomy as AU ramp up forces’ withdraw

AFRICAN Union-backed forces in Somalia are transferring more military bases to their local counterparts as they gain offensive capabilities to fend off Al-Shabaab militants. This comes after more than a decade of training and rearming of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) amid relentless attacks by the jihadi group. The scaling back of operations in the country by the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) marks a crucial step in empowering the Somali army to combat Al-Shabaab effectively. The AU notes that while the threats persist, Somali forces are, more than ever, fit for combat after the country's military…
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Kenya proposes maritime treaty to defuse Ethiopia-Somalia tensions

Kenya proposes maritime treaty to defuse Ethiopia-Somalia tensions

KENYA has proposed a regional maritime treaty to defuse tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia over a deal allowing Ethiopia to set up a naval base and giving it port access in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland, a top Kenyan official said. Landlocked Ethiopia agreed on January 1 to lease 20 km (12 miles) of coastline in Somaliland, a part of Somalia which claims independence and has had effective autonomy since 1991, offering possible recognition of Somaliland in exchange. That prompted a defiant response from Somalia and fuelled concern the deal could further destabilise the Horn of Africa region. The treaty Kenya is…
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Western Sahara’s Polisario Front suspends contact with Spain

Western Sahara’s Polisario Front suspends contact with Spain

THE Polisario Front, Western Sahara's independence movement, said it was severing ties with Spain after Madrid backed Morocco's plan to give autonomy to the former Spanish colony. Spain has supported the autonomy plan as a way to resolve a long-running dispute over Western Sahara, which Morocco considers its own territory. But the Polisario, backed by Algeria, has rejected the autonomy proposal and wants an independence referendum. The Polisario said the plan aimed to legitimise the annexation of Western Sahara "ignoring the inalienable rights of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence." Last month, Spain told Morocco it considered the autonomy…
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