- Title: [SW Country] (IRIN
Puntland tells aid agencies to stop hiring militia
men/First recognised meat market opened since 1991
- Date :[7 June 2000]
Horn of Africa: IRIN News briefs, 7 June
SOMALIA: Puntland tells aid agencies to stop
hiring militia men
Authorities in north-eastern Somalia's self-declared
autonomous region of
Puntland have told aid agencies to use the police force for protection,
and to stop hiring armed militia men, reports AFP. Foreign aid
organisations using hired militia would be fined, a security officer in
Puntland's interior ministry told AFP. Weapons found in the hands of
guards hired by aid agencies would be confiscated. Foreign aid
organisations have relied on local armed escorts for personal and
organisational security since the early 90s.
Bossaso, capital of Puntland, has trained and maintained a police force,
and has experienced relative peace compared to other areas of Somalia.
Mohamed Absire Musa, one of Puntland's leaders, was a former police chief
before the fall of Mohamed Siad Barre's government in 1991.
Humanitarian sources told IRIN that agencies were considering the
proposal, and it would be discussed with Puntland authorities. The
administration in Bossaso recently agreed to rescind mandatory foreign
exchange of US $100, which had been applied to international agencies and
UN personnel. The UN "reminded the Puntland authorities of UN and
international organisation privileges" and got a positive response, said
a UN source.
SOMALIA: First recognised meat
market opened since 1991
Somalia's first officially recognised meat market opened last month in
Abu Dhabi, after Dubai's municipality decided it could accept unlicenced
meat with assurances from the UN and its international and local
partners. Somalia, a major livestock producing country, has been unable
to officially export meat since the collapse of government in 1991
because of the absence of a national licensing system.
"This is the first time Somalia has a recognised foreign market for meat
since the civil war," said Gian Paulo Aloe of UNDP Somalia's private
sector development project. UNDP has been working on opening meat markets
for Somalia - formerly a major exporter of livestock - since 1998 after
it received requests to invest some US $700,000 in slaughter houses. With
funding, slaughter houses were built in Galkaiyo and Mogadishu. Sheep,
goat and camel meat used to be exported to the Arab States, but, without
government licences, exporters only had an illegal option of sending
livestock for slaughtering through Djibouti. In May 1999 UNDP arranged
two inspectors from Abu Dhabi, including the Deputy Head of Food
Inspection and veterinary Control, to inspect the slaughter houses.
Despite a positive report, the absence of a government licensing system
led to a refusal by the Technical Committee of the Emirates in August
1999 to allow Somali meat to be imported. A visit by UNDP to meet the
Secretary-General of the Municipality in October 1999 facilitated an
agreement that UNDP could provide technical assistance to meat exporters
and veterinaries to allow them to establish a system of acceptable
certification. Gian Paulo Aloe told IRIN that with the opening up of the
meat market, meat export has been put "on the top of the agenda" by the
Somali business community, and will be a focus for UNDP as a means to
assist and develop Somalia.
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