in northeastern Somalia's self-declared autonomous region
of Puntland told aid agencies there Monday to stop hiring
armed guards and instead seek protection from the police.
aid organisations in the area, as elsewhere in Somalia, have
relied on local armed escorts for their security in the anarchic
Horn of Africa country, which has lacked a government since
the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
officer in Puntland's interior ministry told AFP by telephone
from the region's capital, Garow, that weapons found in the
hands of guards hired by aid agencies would from Monday be
confiscated and the organisations fined.
has been relatively peaceful since 1998 when members of the
local Darod clans established the regional administration.