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Riot in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya Kills Two

Two Somali refugees are dead and about a dozen injured after rioting yesterday at the Dadaab refugee complex In Kenya. The U.N. human rights agency (UNHCR) says it began when police intervened over an illegally built structure near a food distribution point. The UNHCR says the incident was an indication of the pressures at the camp, which now...

Somalia's Birthday Gift: A Night Without Violence

Somalia marked 51 years of independence late Thursday with a midnight flag-raising ceremony at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. The government says it was the most peaceful independence ceremony it has ever held, while Somalis in Nairobi ask what there is to celebrate. <!--IMAGE--> July 1 marks the day when two Somali regions, formerly...

Somalia Appeals for International Assistance as Drought Worsens

Somalia’s Council of Ministers issued a statement Thursday calling for dramatic intervention on the part of the United Nations and the international community to prevent the country’s current drought from becoming a major catastrophe.  Somali government spokesperson Abdirahman Omar Osman spoke with VOA just before the appeal was issued.“The...

Report: US Drone Targets Militants in Somalia

A Washington newspaper reports that a U.S. drone aircraft fired on two leaders of the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab in Somalia last week, apparently wounding them.The Washington Post quotes an unnamed senior military official familiar with the operation.The official said the strike was carried out amid rising concerns that al-Shabab is...

Refugees, Asylum Seekers in South Africa Brace For New Regulations

Refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia and other troubled African countries seeking a new life in South Africa are bracing themselves for tighter regulations as part of planned government amendments. Several dozen Somali men and women mill around the offices of human rights lawyers in Pretoria, showing the papers they have brought with them to...

Somali Parliament Approves New Prime Minister

Somali lawmakers have approved Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a Somali-American economist, as the country's new prime minister.Parliamentary Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden says lawmakers approved Ali on Tuesday by a vote of 437 to four, with two abstentions.Ali, who was immediately sworn in after the approval, said he will focus on fighting terrorism and...

Thousands of Somalis Flee to Kenya to Escape Conflict, Drought

The UN refugee agency is expressing alarm at a dramatic rise in the number of new refugee arrivals from Somalia into Kenya. The UN refugee agency [UNHCR] reports more than 20,000 Somali refugees have arrived in the Dadaab refugee complex in northern Kenya over the past two weeks.The new arrivals are mostly farmers and animal herders from Lower...

Somalia Appoints New Prime Minister

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government has named a Somali-American Economist as the next Prime Minister. President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has chosen Abdiweli Mohamed Ali to replace Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed as prime minister.  Ali has been serving as acting prime minister since the resignation of Mohamed on Sunday. Speaking in Mogadishu,...

Somalia Wants Piracy Courts on its Territory

The United Nation’s top legal advisor says the Somali Transitional Federal Government is not in favor of having specialized courts in other countries try Somali piracy suspects. Patricia O’Brien told the U.N. Security Council Somalia says it prefers such a court be established in Somalia and is willing to work with the United Nations toward an...

Somali Prime Minister Resigns, Reversing Pledge to Stay

Somalia's prime minister says he is resigning, reversing a pledge he made last week to stay in office after an outpouring of support by Somalis opposed to his departure.Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed told reporters Sunday his decision to leave office was made to avert political collapse in his homeland. He said his departure is "in the...

Somali Pirates Rescue Crew as Ship Burns

Somali pirates say they have evacuated 19 crew members from a hijacked ship that caught fire Wednesday.The Panama-flagged cargo ship MV Orna caught fire in the pirate stronghold of Harardhere, on Somalia's Indian Ocean coast.VOA's Somali service talked to a regional piracy expert, Andrew Mwangura, who says the ship was still on fire Thursday...

Somali PM Defies Kampala Accord, Refuses to Step-Down

In defying the recently signed "Kampala Accord" and refusing to step down, Somali Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed is riding an unprecedented wave of popular support in the war-torn country. During the past week, thousands of Somalis have taken to the streets around the country, risking arrest by government forces to protest the recently...

Somali PM Defies Deal, Refuses to Resign

Somalia's prime minister is refusing to resign, defying a deal made by the president and parliamentary speaker to pave the way for a new government.Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said Tuesday that he will stay in office following a wave of public support for him that included demonstrations in Mogadishu.Mohamed said he will step down...

Clinton: Death of Embassy Bombing Suspect Big Blow to al-Qaida

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the death of a man suspected of organizing the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania is a significant blow to al-Qaida. Secretary Clinton says Harun Fazul's death is “a significant blow to al-Qaida, its extremist allies, and its operations in East Africa.”  After laying flowers at a...

Somali Pirates Free Kuwaiti Oil Tanker After Ransom

Somali pirates are reported to have released a Kuwaiti oil tanker held since late March.A piracy watchdog group says the pirates were paid $12 million to release the ship.The 29-member crew is said to be doing okay.The MV Zirku was captured in the Gulf of Aden while sailing to Singapore from Sudan.Somali pirates continue to terrorize shipping in...