23 February 2013

Somalia: Foreign Delegation Visits Former Pirate Hubs in Mudug

Galkayo — A delegation of foreign dignitaries and Puntland officials led by Mudug governor Mohamed Yusuf Jama Tigey, traveled through 12 towns in eastern Mudug region on Thursday including former pirate hubs, Garowe Online reports.

The delegation included UN officials, entrepreneurs from China, traditional elders and Puntland district officials. They visited many towns in the region briefly meeting with community members and officials in the major towns to discuss security improvements in the area and development needs.

In their discussions with the delegation, the community members from Mudug region stated that support of transportation infrastructure was the most important issue. Currently there is a community led project improving road conditions on the often bumpy and uncomfortable road that links Galkayo with Gara'ad.

The delegation's final destination was the town of Gara'ad - a former pirate hub - where they met with district authorities and enjoyed some time on the beach that years earlier were home to pirates.

Foreign representatives from the Somali based fishing company Ocean Organic were traveling with the delegation assessing the situation in the region and on the coast.

Abdihamid Islaan Farah and Sheikh Bashir Sheikh Hassan who were part of the delegation gave a message to those hailing from Mudug region and Puntland, to help invest in the region in this crucial time.

Districts in Mudug region had been associated with piracy and kidnapping and deemed unsafe by foreign security institutions before. Mudug Governor Tigey stated that this trip proved that Mudug region did not resemble what has been said in the past.

"We have traveled safely through Mudug region, testimony that there has been a positive change in the region thanks to a coordinated effort by community and government," said Governor Tigey.

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