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Somali Government tells foreign firms to pay taxes or face consequences

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The Finance Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia has warned foreign firms operating in Halane, the African Union camp in Mogadishu who have been evading taxes at all costs.

The Ministry on Thursday announced new strict rules on taxation on 157 firms, mostly foreign-owned ad sheltered by African Union.

The ministry estimates the country loses billions of dollars as the 157 companies evaded taxes by hiding under humanitarian cover.

In a meeting with the CEOs and managers of the firms, officials from the ministers of finance, air transportation, trade and departments of taxes and security were given instructions of the rules of the taxation.

The ministry warned the 157 firms, among them are supplies and logistics companies contracted by United Nations and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) who never cleared taxes.

“We have evidence of importation of goods and commodities into the country without payment of taxes or under disguise of taxes relief. We have warned them. This is unacceptable.” Said Finance Minister Adirahman Dualeh Beyleh.

Alongside the Minister was the Deputy Minister Hayir Ibrahim who noted that nobody was above the law.

“Any firm or entity found breaching our taxes laws will be held accountable.” he added.

Goods and commodities into the country without payment of taxes or under disguise of taxes relief.
The move was not new the ears of Somalis. Years ago, former Mogadishu Mayor blasted the invasion of foreign companies and employees into the country by hiding under AMISOM and United Nations and taking over jobs locals could do.

The invasion of the foreign workers and contracted agents resulted unneeded competition against Somali-owned businesses and jobs bringing another burden to the economy, a move the government now says wants to tackle.

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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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