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President Farmajo opens the National Security Council meeting in Mogadishu

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Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has on Wednesday opened the first National Security Council meeting he chairs since he was elected in February this year to discuss the current security situation in the country and the threats posed by extremist groups.

The meeting brought together the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States including Puntland, Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle and Jubbaland.

This is the first meeting since the establishment of the committee in April this year during the National Consultative meetings held jointly by the Federal Government of Somalia and its Federal Member States which eventually replaced the National Leadership Forum (NLF).

Sources close to the presidency said the meeting will be on for two days will discuss among other issues, national security, the fight against terrorism and the establishment of a joint army composed of 18, 000 soldiers from all the states.

The meeting comes amid growing concern of the threats of the terror groups Al-Shabab and ISIS in the horn of African country.

The militant groups continue to carry deadly attacks in the country. Between May and June, Al-Shabab carried at least five attacks in Mogadishu and Puntland killing several dozens of civilians and members of the country’s security forces.

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Somaliland

Protests in Somaliland As Opposition Claim Election Fraud

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Wadani Party supporters took to the streets of various opposition strongholds to protest what they claim to be election irregularities.

In Burco police used live bullets to disperse protestors.

Riots erupted hours after senior Wadani officials held a press conference on Thursday morning, accusing the ruling party of purchasing and using ballot papers forged with NEC’s official stamp.

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Somali News

Pentagon says more than 500 US troops now in Somalia, but denies ‘build up’

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The Pentagon announced in a statement Thursday there are now “more than” 500 US troops on the ground in Somalia.

A significant increase from early 2014 when roughly two dozen troops arrived for the first time since 1993 and the Black Hawk Down incident.

US Africa Command says there have been 28 airstrikes this year, mostly from drones against al-Shabaab, long considered the greatest terror threat in Africa.

At a press conference Thursday at the Pentagon, a top defense official denied any “ramp-up.”

“I do not believe necessarily there’s a ramp-up,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff when asked about the spike in airstrikes in Somalia. “It’s the density of targets is such that now there’s some of opportunities to do those strikes.”

The US military recently conducted six straight days of airstrikes in Somalia from last Thursday to Tuesday.

Last month, al-Shabaab was blamed for a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu which killed over 300 people.

The head of the Pentagon’s joint staff said there’s no link between the fall of the ISIS capital Raqqa last month, and the first airstrikes against ISIS in Yemen and Somalia.

US DRONE STRIKE IN SOMALIA KILLS ‘SEVERAL AL-SHABAAB MILITANTS, MILITARY SAYS

Earlier this month, the US conducted the first airstrikes against ISIS in Somalia.

McKenzie also denied the increase of hundreds of additional troops in Somalia as a “build up,” but just a “flow of forces in and out” of the country.

In May, a Navy SEAL was killed fighting al-Shabaab, the first combat death in Somalia since 1993.

In addition to Somalia, the US military has conducted over 100 airstrikes against Al Qaeda in Yemen, including the first strikes against ISIS in Yemen last month.

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Briefing Room

UNSC votes to extend sanctions on Eritrea and Somalia

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The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend an arms embargo imposed on Eritrea and Somalia for allegedly supporting al-Shabaab. The decision comes barely a week after a panel of experts called for the lifting of sanctions particularly on Somalia. CGTN’s Liling Tan filed this report from New York

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BARTAMAHA TV

MADAXWEYNE FARMAAJO “SABABTA DALKU 10 SANO DAGAAL UGU JIRO WAA DANLEEYDA SIYAASADEED”

AMISOM TROOP DRAWDOWN WILL ‘SHOCK’ SOMALIA, EXPERT

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