Somalia: Despite growing risks, Puntland elders travel for Mogadishu meeting 4 May 4, 2012 - 7:34:10 PM
MOGADISHU, Somalia May 4 2012 (Garowe
Online) - Braving growing insecurity, a delegation consisting of
Puntland traditional elders left Garowe airport on Friday to Mogadishu,
where Thursday night Al Shabaab insurgents shelled the presidential
headquarters, Radio Garowe reports.
The Puntland traditional elders left Puntland capital of Garowe to
attend a conference in Mogadishu, where 135 traditional elders from
across Somalia will pick the 825 members of the National Constituent
Puntland officials accompanied the elders to the airport where elders
briefly spoke to media before departing. "We are leaving Garowe to
attend the conference starting soon in Mogadishu and God willing we
arrive there safely," said Suldan Saeed Mohamed Garase.
The capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, is going to host a major upcoming
conference as elders will pick the members of NCA who will meet on May
15 to decide whether or not to adopt the constitution.
Mogadishu has been ravaged by civil war but last year's exodus by Al
Shabaab the city became a hub of hope as the TFG-AMISOM battle against
Al Shabaab looked like it victory was near for the government. However
as of this year one of the most heavily secured areas was shelled for
the fourth time according to Mogadishu media.
Mogadishu: Presidential palace under attack
The presidential palace was targeted by Al Shabaab on Thursday night.
Residents around the palace reported shells hitting the presidential
headquarters. There have been no confirmations on casualties as
authorities have yet to make a statement about the shelling.
Risks of possible attacks in Mogadishu as it gets ready to host the May
15 conference, has forced the TFG to tighten security in the capital.
On Friday the National Security Agency of Somalia announced that they
had in custody a member of the terrorist organization Al Shabaab. NSA's
Banadir Region Chief Khalif Ahmed Ereg announced at a press conference
that the NSA killed a group of Al Shabaab agents who attacked an office
the NSA had in Mogadishu's Hamar Jadid neighborhood. "The leader was
killed and one Al Shabaab agent is in custody," said Mr. Ereg.
Insecurity in the capital has been overshadowed by the hotly debated
constitution. Those blocking the political process or 'spoilers' were
warned by the international community not to impede in the peace process