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27 March 2017 00:45 (South Africa)

Somalia sacks police chief, military head in wake of suicide bombing

The head of Somalia’s police force, Abdi Hassan Awale, and the country’s military commander Yusuf Hussein, have been fired after a man dressed as a veiled woman killed three ministers and several others in a suicide bombing in the capital, Mogadishu. Now the top cop has been replaced by a former ambassador who was himself sacked in 2007 and replaced by Awale. Mohamed Gelle Kahiye, a senior military colonel takes over from Hussein. Whether this will have any impact on security is a moot point in conflict-ravaged Somalia, which is seen as a base for al-Qaeda’s incursion into Africa. Neighbouring Kenya has stepped up police patrols in a Nairobi suburb predominantly populated by ethnic Somalis, as the hotel bombing in Mogadishu has further raised fears about Somalia's ability to destabilise the whole Horn of Africa region. Recently, radical Islamist al-Shabaab militants (they denied the latest bombing), who are fighting African Union peacekeepers supporting Somalia’s fragile UN-backed government, said they would take their fight to Uganda and Burundi, whose troops make up the bulk of the AU force.  Read more: Reuters, Al Jazeera, France 24

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