Somalia’s autonomous state of Puntland opened an anti-terrorism Conference on Tuesday with the attendance of high ranking officials from the administration, Muslim clerics, Intellectuals, Security officers, local elders and representatives from the civil society groups.
The Conference opened by the Vice President of Puntland Mr Abdulhakim Amey, is aimed to form a joint strategy to defeat the militant group al-Shabaab, which has increased its attacks in the stable region.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the conference, Puntland Vice President said that it is time that an action plan should be presented against extremism, stressing the need for a “joint approach” to uproot al-Shabaab.
‘’Fighting against terrorism is a responsibility for all people, not only the government. We are determined to defeat the terrorists from our region,’’ he vowed.
One of the participants of the Conference underlined the root cause of terrorism, saying that poverty, discrimination and humiliation are the reasons behind the growth of terrorism which were used by the evil to reach their inhuman goals.
The battle between Puntland and al-Shabaab militants started in 2010 in the Tora Bora-like mountain ranges of Galgala, dozens from both sides died since when and displacement of hundreds of families. But in October last year, Puntland forces managed to recapture the major stronghold of the militants in the area, Galgala.
Last month, a suicide-bomber attacked a UNICEF van killing at least 7 staff members including four foreign nationals.
Puntland has long accused neighbouring breakaway region of Somaliland for arming and providing safe havens for the militants.
Published: May 12, 2015