At least five people were killed and ten others injured following a bomb attack in Baidoa, southwest Somalia on Saturday, officials said.
Somali government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar confirmed the attack, saying the militant group al-Shabab was behind the latest attack in Baidoa town, the administrative capital of Southwest State in Somalia.
“Remote control landmine blast killed five people and injured 10 others.
“Most of the victims of the attack were civilians and the casualties could rise as this is the initial report,” Omar told journalists.
He noted that the situation was still tense.
Omar said the casualties were innocent civilians, who were going about their daily routines in the area.
Local residents said the explosion targeted a local tax collection center, south of Baidoa town but exploded at a nearby restaurant.
“The remote-controlled explosive device targeted a tax collection center which is located in the town on Bardhere road.
“The casualties included passersby and some security officers,” said a resident who declined to be named.
On Saturday morning, another bomb attack occurred in front of the revenue headquarters in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, injuring seven people, including security guards.
The Somali government has condemned the two attacks, saying the two incidents would not deter its resolve to stabilise Somalia.
The Somali security forces backed by allied forces have stepped up their air and ground operations against the militants in the country despite the militants’ continued resistance, at times targeting military bases, hotels, and other public places.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
2 killed in crash-landing of small cargo plane in southwest Somalia – Reports
A small plane, purportedly transporting military cargo, crash-landed in the airport of Somalia’s Dhobley city, leaving two crew killed, Somalian media reported on Tuesday.
According to Radio Garowe, citing local aviation authorities, the plane requested an emergency landing at night amid poor visibility conditions due to rain. It touched down hard and caught fire after landing.
The plane was reportedly carrying cargo for the Kenyan armed forces.
The airport where it landed is in the vicinity of the Somalian-Kenyan border area where a large Kenyan military base is located.
Images from the scene show that the plane was marked by South Sudan’s flag.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
CAN urges new NCPC Secretary to exhibit qualities of great leader
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria , Rev Samson Ayokunle, on Thursday urged the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev Yakubu Pam, to exhibit the qualities of great leaders.
Ayokunle gave the charge during a Thanksgiving Service in honour of the newly-appointed Executive Secretary in Abuja.
According to him, the wise and task-oriented people do not rush to take up leadership positions because they know that leadership is a great burden.
He explained that many people just looked at the paraphernalia of office and rushed to take it up noting that most of the time such people failed.
”If you see somebody doing all he can to occupy a position, know that he or she is either looking for self glory or what he or she would benefit from it, not what he or she would offer.
”It is God that usually chooses task-oriented leaders, using men and women. We know that without your own effort God put you in this position because you did not lobby for it.
”We would, therefore, urge you to do your best without disappointing God nor those who put you in this position. May the Lord help you,” he said.
The Cleric mentioned some of the qualities of great leaders that Pam must possess to succeed as being controlled by the Holy Spirit, faithfulness, being Strategic, Prayerful, putting God first in everything and being courageous to take the right steps,
”Putting God first in everything, being Courageous to take the right steps, being creative like the sons of Issachar, being a servant leader by making humility your watchword,” he added.
The NCPC Boss, Rev. Yakubu Pam, assured Nigerians that he would serve the country with great sense of responsibility as long as God lives and watches over him and this great nation.
Pam mentioned five main agenda which would guide him in his assignment “to ensure that we abide by the Act that established the NCPC.”
”I have carefully studied the Act that established the NCPC.
“One striking provision is that the Executive Secretary is given recognition as the Chief Accounting Officer of the Commission while every other staff of the agency are support staff of the Executive Secretary.
”By this provision, it simply means that I will be accountable to every deed and misdeeds of the agency and I would not want to be associated with corruption or anything that will dent my image or the image of our dear CAN as I stand as an ambassador.
”I will do my best to fight corruption and redeem our image globally as well as the image of the agency.
“I have also promised my staff that by the grace of God, I shall build a credible
institution in NCPC that will make it the envy of other government agencies.”
He said that it would in turn make other agencies seek the services of its staff members owing to their capacity and integrity.
”Secondly, I would like to rebuild our image internationally due to our core responsibility of embarking on pilgrimages.
“Our image in international communities is not so good especially with the records we have of people absconding when sent on holy pilgrimage.
”In view of this, we have started working strategically with relevant stakeholders who will ensure thorough screening for intending pilgrims for an increased global acceptability and respect.
”We shall continue to advice our pilgrims to remain resolute as Pilgrims and not Tourists while on pilgrimage.
”Thirdly, I would embark on a re-orientation of the mindset of Ministers of God and other Pilgrims to drive a behavioural change first in themselves, and ultimately give back the lessons learnt to the society.
”Fourthly, I would like to go on relationship drive among my staff, relevant stakeholders, Muslims and Christians across Nigeria and ensure mutual respect and unity amongst all and sundry.
”Fifth, I would work assiduously to gain people’s trust to enable me to carry out reconciliation amongst people for peaceful co-existence,” he said.
Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, who was represented by Sen. Gorge Akume, said that Nigeria needed peace to succeed.
Akume also said that “the country cannot toil with unity and peace because if our territorial integrity is undermined, Somalia will be a child’s play.
”Virtually everybody supported you for this office, it is an opportunity for you to do more to bring peace to our country, we need peace to succeed.
”I know the President is doing quite a lot but the challenges are still there.
“There are people with sinister motives who wouldn’t want peace but through prayers we will overcome so that Nigeria will not go asunder.
”We don’t have to toil with our unity. You are in a very good position working closely with CAN and people of other faith so that together we can reestablish peace,” he said.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
UN says facing critical funding shortfall to meet refugee needs in Ethiopia
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday said it faces a critical funding shortfall to meet the needs of refugees in Ethiopia.
The UNHCR said it received only 72.2 million United States dollars out of the total 385.1 million dollars required to meet the basic nutritional, education, health and accommodation needs of refugees in Ethiopia.
As of June 30, 2020, the UNHCR registered 766,563 refugees and asylum-seekers in Ethiopia, most of whom are housed in refugee camps in six regional states, it said in a monthly fact sheet.
Ethiopia now hosts the second largest refugee population in Africa, after Uganda.
Refugees in Ethiopia primarily come from Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan, according to Ethiopian government figures.
Conflict and drought in neighboring countries continues to force people to seek refuge in Ethiopia, which has a long tradition of hosting refugees.
Ethiopia has also in recent years hosted an increasing number of refugees fleeing conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
Somalia secures 25 mln USD grant to fight COVID-19
The lender said the government will use the funds to carry out three interlinked responses to the pandemic that will enhance the health system, safeguard livelihoods and social protection, and support labor force productivity and economic activity.
The Horn of Africa nation has so far confirmed 3,178 COVID-19 cases, 1,521 recoveries and 93 deaths as of Sunday.
UN agencies and partners said they have scaled up their responses despite operational challenges due to COVID-19 containment measures such as most staff working remotely, in restricted environments, or from home.
Somalia has also experienced swarms of locusts over the past year that have increased food insecurity.