In Wake of Hostage Drama, Somali President Makes Security Vow
The president of the Somali Transitional Government (STG) Abdulkassim Salat Hassan has promised to provide adequate security for aid agencies visiting or operating in Mogadishu.
Speaking to journalists late Thursday, he urged the United Nations and other aid agencies to inform the STG of their visits before arriving in Mogadishu "so that concerned security departments can make arrangements.
"The police would escort the expatriates to avoid insecurity."
Salat's remarks came after nine expatriate aid workers were caught up in a gunbattle in north Mogadishu on March 27. Four of the nine were abducted during the ordeal and two of these were only freed on Wednesday.
Salat blamed the United Nations for the incidents, saying its team of visiting expatriates should not have gone to a part of the city controlled by warlord Musa Sudi Yalahow without having first consulted the government.
"We will do all we can to make Mogadishu a secure city by strengthening police and justice in the capital," said Salat, who took up office in August, after talks in neighboring Djibouti.
Salat was appointed on August 25 by a parliament in exile in Djibouti after a lengthy reconciliation conference.
But most warlords who control fiefdoms in the capital did not recognize him as president and his government has yet to extend its control beyond certain pockets of the city -- MOGADISHU (AFP) -
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