Somalia leader declares country a war zone, replaces chiefs

2017-04-06 17:24
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (AFP)

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (AFP)

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Mogadishu - Somalia's new president has declared the country a war zone and replaced its military and intelligence chiefs while instructing the army to prepare a new offensive against al-Shabaab extremists.

The shakeup on Thursday is an attempt to improve the worsening security situation as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab steps up its deadly bombings in the capital since President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was elected in February.

The Somali-American president wore a military uniform as he declared a "new offensive against terrorist groups." He is giving extremists a 60-day amnesty to surrender.

The changes are seen as an attempt by Mohamed to consolidate power in this long-chaotic horn of Africa nation. He has replaced the country's police chief and Mogadishu's mayor.

Al-Shabaab has denounced the president as an "apostate" and warned Somalis against supporting him.

Read more on:    al qaeda  |  al shabaab  |  mohamed abdullahi mohamed  |  somalia  |  east africa
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