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Regional administration in Somalia bans the hiring of armed guards


Authorities 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.

Foreign 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.

A security 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.

Puntland has been relatively peaceful since 1998 when members of the local Darod clans established the regional administration.



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