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Darawal: Somaliland’s Most Dangerous Hero – Somaliland’s Fearless Warrior

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From Military Genius to Political Powerhouse, Darawal’s Unyielding Journey

BY Farah Iidaan Aaye:

Discover the legend of Abdullahi Iman Darawal, Somaliland’s national hero and chairman of the Horseed Party, who stands as one of the most dangerous and revered figures in Africa.

Abdullahi Iman Darawal, chairman of Somaliland’s Horseed Party, has carved out a reputation as one of the most formidable and revered figures in the Horn of Africa. With a storied past as a high-ranking officer in the Somali government before its collapse in 1991, Darawal is both a national hero and a war-hardened warrior. His journey from the battlefields to the political arena is a testament to his unyielding spirit and unwavering commitment to his people.

The Making of a Military Legend

Darawal’s military career is nothing short of legendary. Trained in military science in both Russia and the United States, he emerged as a key figure in the Somali National Movement (SNM), playing a crucial role in liberating Somaliland. His strategic acumen and bravery on the battlefield earned him widespread respect and admiration, solidifying his status as a national hero.

Political Ascendancy

In the years following Somaliland’s struggle for independence, Darawal transitioned into politics, holding various high-profile positions, including Minister of National Defense. His tenure in government showcased his dedication to Somaliland’s sovereignty and security, further enhancing his reputation as a patriotic leader.

A Hero’s Betrayal

Despite his contributions, Darawal’s political ambitions have been met with resistance. As he prepared to run for the presidency, he faced unjust exclusion and was told to “stay at home.” This affront to his dignity and rights has not only angered him but has also rallied his supporters, who view him as a symbol of justice and resilience.

The Calm Before the Storm

Those who underestimate Darawal do so at their peril. Known for his calm demeanor, he is a man who acts decisively when provoked. A former colleague described him as one of the few individuals in the Horn of Africa with extensive military training from both Russian and American forces. This unique background makes him a potent force capable of influencing the region’s geopolitical landscape.

The Fear Factor

Darawal’s influence extends beyond his military and political achievements. His tribal heritage, from the Arab Sheikh Isaaq clan, is known for its warrior legacy. This tribal support amplifies his power, making him a figure feared by those who oppose him. His detractors, including figures like Hirsi Haji Ali of the Waddani party, are seen as corrupt opportunists who fail to recognize the true danger of sidelining such a formidable opponent.

A Nation at Crossroads

Somaliland stands at a critical juncture. The exclusion of Darawal from the upcoming elections on November 13, 2024, could have far-reaching consequences. His supporters warn of both visible and invisible wars if justice is not served. The stakes are high, not only for Somaliland but for the entire Horn of Africa.

Geopolitical Implications

The situation in Somaliland echoes broader geopolitical shifts in Africa. With Western powers like France and the USA reducing their influence in West Africa, countries like Senegal and Niger are experiencing significant changes. Russia’s increasing presence in these regions suggests a new direction in global power dynamics. Somalia, with its recent moves to sever ties with Western allies in favor of Eastern partnerships, mirrors this trend.

Expert Insights

Security analysts emphasize the risks of undermining Darawal. His knowledge and connections, particularly in underground intelligence networks in Russia and Washington, make him a uniquely dangerous figure. Experts suggest that Somaliland’s elite must engage with Darawal to avoid potential conflicts that could destabilize the region.

Conclusion: A Hero’s Legacy

Abdullahi Iman Darawal embodies the spirit of resilience and defiance. His journey from a military hero to a political leader reflects his unwavering dedication to his people. As Somaliland prepares for its future, the importance of recognizing and respecting Darawal’s contributions cannot be overstated. The nation’s leaders must navigate these turbulent times with wisdom, acknowledging that the legacy of a true hero can shape the destiny of a nation.


Final Thoughts:

Abdullahi Iman Darawal’s story is a reminder of the complex interplay between heroism and politics. His ability to inspire fear and admiration in equal measure positions him as a pivotal figure in Somaliland’s history.

The coming months will reveal whether his legacy will be one of continued struggle or a catalyst for profound change in the Horn of Africa.

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AFRICOM Denies Responsibility for Deaths of Cuban Doctors in Somalia

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U.S. Military Clears Airstrike Allegations by Al-Shabab, Confirms No Civilian Harm

AFRICOM denies involvement in the deaths of Cuban doctors in Somalia, refuting al-Shabab claims. U.S. airstrike near Jilib confirmed, but civilian harm dismissed.

The U.S. military has denied allegations that it was responsible for the deaths of two Cuban doctors in Somalia, which the al-Shabab militant group attributed to a U.S. airstrike in February.

The latest civilian harm assessment from U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirms that an airstrike was conducted near the town of Jilib on February 15. However, the report categorically denies that this strike resulted in the deaths of the doctors.

“On Feb. 17, 2024, the command received one (1) report of an online media source stating two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 15, 2024,” the assessment noted. “The command completed a review of available information and assessed that the U.S. airstrike conducted on Feb. 15, 2024, did not result in civilian harm.”

Al-Shabab claimed without proof that the airstrike killed Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez, who had been held hostage since April 2019 after being abducted from Mandera County in northeastern Kenya. The militant group published an image allegedly showing one of the hostages’ bodies, but VOA Somali has not independently verified the doctors’ deaths.

AFRICOM also assessed two other incidents this year: one on January 25 near Galhareeri in Galmudug state and another on February 22 in Kurtunwaarey in Southwest state. In both cases, U.S. airstrikes were blamed for civilian injuries and fatalities. AFRICOM’s review determined there were no U.S. military operations at the reported times and locations.

AFRICOM emphasized its commitment to transparency and thorough investigation of civilian harm reports. “U.S. Africa Command takes all reports of possible civilian harm seriously and has a process to conduct thorough reviews and assessments using all available information,” the assessment stated. “The command remains committed to reviewing and assessing any reports of civilian harm.”

The United States has long supported the Somali government with airstrikes against al-Shabab and military training for government troops. In February, the U.S. and Somalia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to construct up to five military bases for the U.S.-trained elite Somali National Army forces known as the Danab (lightning) Brigade.

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Kenya’s Port of Mombasa Slips Below Berbera in Global Rankings Again

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Mombasa Port Ranks Below Berbera for Second Year in World Bank Report

East Africa’s Largest Port Falls to 328th Position as Berbera Surges to 106th

Kenya’s Port of Mombasa ranks below Berbera for the second consecutive year in the latest World Bank Container Port Performance Index, highlighting efficiency issues and regional competition.

For the second consecutive year, Kenya’s Port of Mombasa has ranked below the Port of Berbera in the World Bank’s Container Port Performance Index (CPPI). The latest report shows a further decline for Mombasa, dropping to 328th position out of 405 ports globally, down from 326th last year. Meanwhile, the Port of Berbera in Somaliland made a significant leap to 106th place from 144th, showcasing its rising prominence in regional cargo handling efficiency.

Key Highlights from the Report:

Mombasa’s Decline and Regional Comparison:

Mombasa’s consistent decline is evident since the inception of the CPPI in 2020, where it was ranked 296th. Despite this, Mombasa outperformed Dar es Salaam, which fell from 312th to 367th, and Djibouti, which experienced a steep drop from 26th to 379th.

The rankings are based on efficiency, specifically the time elapsed between a ship’s arrival and its departure after completing cargo exchange.

Berbera’s Rise in Efficiency:

The Port of Berbera’s improved ranking can be largely attributed to the operational management by DP World since 2017. This partnership has resulted in a 35% increase in cargo volumes and a 300% rise in vessel productivity.

Berbera’s implementation of new digital systems and sustainable practices has significantly reduced vessel waiting times from days to mere hours, enhancing overall port efficiency.

Improvements Noted by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA):

Despite the drop in rankings, the KPA highlights several improvements at Mombasa. The turnaround time for container vessels decreased from an average of three days in 2022 to two days in 2023.

Additionally, the average container dwell time reduced to 3.5 days from 3.9 days in 2022, marking a 10% improvement.

Ship waiting time for containerized vessels dropped to 0.2 days, and the gross vessel turnaround time decreased from 90.5 hours in 2022 to 64.1 hours in 2023.

World Bank’s Ranking Methodology:

The CPPI uses a combined approach of administrative and statistical methods to ensure the rankings reflect actual port performance and are statistically robust. The methodology includes expert judgment and factor analysis.

Implications for Regional Trade:

Efficient port operations are crucial for regional trade development. The World Bank emphasizes that such efficiencies can significantly enhance trade activities, especially following the downturn induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The contrasting fortunes of Mombasa and Berbera illustrate the dynamic nature of port competitiveness in East Africa.

Conclusion:

The ongoing improvements in Berbera and the relative decline of Mombasa underscore the importance of continuous investment in port infrastructure and management. As East Africa’s trade landscape evolves, the performance and efficiency of its key ports will play a critical role in shaping economic outcomes for the region.

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Somaliland’s President Inspects New Aircraft and Plans to Launch National Airline

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President Muse Bihi Abdi’s Bold Vision: A New Era for Somaliland Aviation

President Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland visits Cigaal International Airport to inspect new airplanes, marking a significant milestone in Somaliland’s aviation industry. Discover his plans to establish the nation’s first airline and enhance aviation education.

HARGEISA, SOMALILAND — In a landmark visit to Cigaal International Airport, President Muse Bihi Abdi showcased his commitment to transforming Somaliland’s aviation industry. Accompanied by high-ranking officials from the Somaliland National Army and the Police Force, President Bihi inspected new airplanes, marking the first time the Republic of Somaliland will own its aircraft.

President Bihi’s inspection of the new airplanes represents a significant step forward for Somaliland. These planes, set to be utilized for both civilian and military purposes, will soon be operated by locally trained technicians and civil pilots. The President emphasized the importance of these advancements in aviation, stating that the acquisition of these aircraft would not only bolster the nation’s transportation capabilities but also its overall economic development.

The President’s vision includes the establishment of a Somaliland Airline, with plans to create a robust aviation education framework. He highlighted the role of the Somaliland Aviation and Airport Authority in this initiative. The authority is preparing to train a new generation of aviation professionals at the Civil Aviation Institute. These students will be taught by experienced foreign instructors, ensuring they receive top-tier education and training.

During his visit, President Bihi also inspected the airport’s control tower. He received detailed reports from Mr. Sharmake Ismail Idris, the Deputy Director of the Somaliland Aviation and Airports Authority, and other airport operators. They demonstrated the critical work being done to manage Somaliland’s airspace, ensuring the safety and efficiency of all flights. This includes dealing with challenges such as incorrect orders from Mogadishu, which are routinely overridden to maintain proper control and safety within Somaliland’s airspace.

The visit also included an inspection of the General Command of the Somaliland National Army, where President Bihi was warmly welcomed by Commander Sergeant Nuh Ismail Taani and other officers. The President praised the dedication and professionalism of the national forces. Similarly, he visited the headquarters of the Somaliland Police Force, where Sergeant Mohamed Aden Saqadhi and his team showcased their efforts to maintain peace and security.

President Bihi’s initiatives are more than just advancements in aviation—they are a part of his broader vision for a prosperous and self-reliant Somaliland. By investing in new technologies and education, he aims to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and enhance national security. These steps are crucial for positioning Somaliland as a key player in the Horn of Africa.

The introduction of new airplanes and the potential establishment of Somaliland’s first national airline are expected to have far-reaching impacts. Improved air connectivity will facilitate trade, tourism, and international cooperation. The local economy stands to benefit from job creation and increased business opportunities. Moreover, the focus on education and training in aviation will empower the youth, providing them with valuable skills and career prospects.

Despite the progress, President Bihi acknowledged the challenges faced by Somaliland, particularly in terms of international recognition and cooperation. However, he remains optimistic that through continued dedication and strategic initiatives, Somaliland will achieve its goals. The President’s focus on aviation is a testament to his belief in the country’s potential to innovate and lead in various sectors.

In conclusion, President Muse Bihi Abdi’s visit to Cigaal International Airport marks a significant milestone in Somaliland’s journey towards modernization and self-sufficiency. His efforts to enhance the nation’s aviation capabilities and education reflect a forward-thinking approach that prioritizes both immediate needs and long-term growth. As Somaliland continues to build on these foundations, the nation looks towards a brighter and more prosperous future.

 

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Americans on Trial in DR Congo for Alleged Coup Involvement

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Military Court in Kinshasa Prosecutes Americans Alongside Dozens of Defendants Over Botched Coup”

KINSHASA, CONGO — Three Americans appeared before a military court in Kinshasa on Friday, accused of participating in last month’s coup attempt targeting the presidential palace and a close ally of President Felix Tshisekedi. The trial, held in an open-air court and broadcast live, also includes dozens of other defendants.

The Coup Attempt and Its Aftermath

The botched coup, led by the lesser-known opposition figure Christian Malanga, resulted in six deaths. Malanga, who live-streamed the attack on social media, was fatally shot after resisting arrest. His 21-year-old son, Marcel Malanga, a U.S. citizen, along with two other Americans, is among those facing charges that could lead to the death penalty, including terrorism and murder.

Court Proceedings and Translation Issues

During the initial court session, the defendants, including Marcel Malanga, requested translation services from French to English. However, the court-appointed translator and a subsequently chosen journalist struggled with accurate interpretation, causing frustration among the defendants.

Background and Personal Stories

Tyler Thompson Jr., 21, traveled to Africa from Utah, reportedly under the pretense of a vacation funded by the elder Malanga. Thompson’s family, who had no prior confirmation of his well-being, expressed relief upon learning of his appearance in court.

Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun, 36, another American on trial, has a history of legal issues in the U.S. and connections to Christian Malanga through a gold mining venture in Mozambique.

Prominent Belgian-Congolese researcher Jean-Jacques Wondo also appeared in court, though the evidence against him remains unclear. Human Rights Watch has called for the immediate release of Wondo if credible charges are not presented.

Concerns and Next Steps

Families of the American defendants are crowdfunding to support legal expenses and travel to Congo for future court dates, expressing concerns over their sons’ health conditions. The trial is set to continue next Friday, with the defendants facing severe charges under Congo’s military justice system.

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Trump Warns of Public Backlash if Imprisoned Over 2016 Election Interference Conviction

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Former President Trump Discusses Potential Imprisonment and Public Reaction in Fox News Interview

Washington, D.C — Former U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed doubts about the public’s willingness to accept his potential imprisonment following his recent conviction for attempting to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. In a taped interview aired on Fox and Friends Weekend, Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential candidate, stated, “I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

Trump’s comments come in the wake of his conviction on 34 felony charges related to the reimbursement of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a hush money payment made to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Despite his conviction, Trump remains defiant, suggesting the trial and subsequent verdict were unfair.

Legal Defense and Future Plans

Trump’s attorney, Will Scharf, appeared on ABC’s This Week, asserting confidence that Trump would avoid sentencing, emphasizing plans to appeal the verdict potentially to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just before the Republican National Convention, where he is expected to be nominated for the third consecutive presidential election cycle.

During the Fox interview, Trump described the trial as especially hard on his family, particularly his wife, former First Lady Melania Trump, who did not attend the court sessions. Reflecting on the ordeal, he mentioned, “She has to read all this crap,” criticizing the prosecutors for what he described as efforts to create havoc.

Trial and Verdict

The trial, which included testimony from Cohen and Daniels, resulted in a New York jury finding Trump guilty of manipulating his company’s records to disguise the hush money reimbursement as legal expenses. Cohen testified that Trump twice approved the scheme, once during a meeting in the White House shortly after taking office in 2017.

Trump, maintaining his innocence, claimed, “I paid a legal expense, and they say it’s a charge,” continuing to challenge the jury’s rejection of his defense. He further criticized the trial’s location, arguing that a New York City jury was predisposed against him due to the city’s overwhelming Democratic leanings.

Political and Public Reactions

Trump’s comments about potential public unrest if he were imprisoned have stirred significant reactions. Critics, such as House Representative Adam Schiff, have dismissed Trump’s claims of unfair treatment, arguing that he must face accountability for his actions in New York. Schiff remarked on CNN’s State of the Union, “If you don’t want to be tried in front of a New York jury, then maybe don’t commit so many crimes in New York City.”

Despite the controversy, Trump remains a central figure in American politics, with a substantial base of support. His statements highlight the potential volatility and division surrounding his legal battles and political future.

Broader Implications

Trump’s conviction and potential imprisonment carry significant implications for the 2024 presidential election and American political landscape. His continued influence within the Republican Party juxtaposed with his legal troubles creates a complex dynamic for the upcoming election cycle. Observers will closely monitor the developments leading up to his sentencing and the Republican National Convention, assessing their impact on the broader political context.

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Jury Finds Trump Guilty on All 34 Felony Counts in Landmark Trial

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Former President Faces Up to Four Years in Prison Amidst Presidential Campaign

New York, May 31 (WARYATV) – In a dramatic and unprecedented legal battle, former U.S. President Donald Trump has been found guilty on all 34 felony counts by a New York jury. The verdict, which came after two days of deliberation, marks the first time an American president has been criminally convicted, casting a shadow over Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

The charges stem from allegations that Trump illegally tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 election by falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump, 77, who is the leading Republican candidate for the 2024 election, now faces the possibility of probation or up to four years in prison.

The 12-member jury delivered the unanimous verdict after a trial that spanned over several weeks. Trump, who had been dismissive and defiant throughout the proceedings, showed little emotion as the verdict was read. However, outside the courtroom, he expressed outrage, calling the decision “a disgrace” and vowing to continue his fight.

“This is long from over,” Trump told reporters, with a tensed jaw and somber expression. On his Truth Social platform, he declared, “My civil rights have been totally violated with this highly political, unconstitutional, and election interfering witch hunt. Our failing nation is being laughed at all over the world!”

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention where he is expected to be formally nominated as the party’s candidate for the 2024 election. His defense team, led by Todd Blanche, has vowed to appeal the conviction, arguing that the trial was influenced by political bias.

Despite the conviction, there is no constitutional prohibition against Trump running for or becoming president as a convicted felon. This legal ambiguity leaves the door open for Trump to continue his campaign, potentially setting the stage for a highly contentious election.

While President Joe Biden has refrained from commenting on the verdict, his campaign team quickly issued a statement urging voters to ensure Trump does not return to the Oval Office.

“Donald Trump has always mistakenly believed he would never face consequences for breaking the law for his own personal gain,” the Biden campaign said. “But today’s verdict does not change the fact that the American people face a simple reality. There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box.”

The trial, which began in mid-April, saw Trump frequently flouting a gag order imposed by New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan. The former president was found in contempt of court ten times and fined $10,000 for disparaging prospective witnesses and criticizing the judge and prosecutor Alvin Bragg.

The prosecution’s case hinged on the testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, who described how Trump directed him to pay $130,000 to Daniels to prevent her from going public with her allegations just days before the 2016 election. Cohen testified that Trump reimbursed him through a series of falsified business records, which were the basis for the 34 felony charges.

This verdict comes as Trump faces three other indictments, including charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. However, the New York case may be the only one resolved before the 2024 election due to ongoing legal battles in the other cases.

The trial has highlighted the lengths to which Trump allegedly went to protect his personal and political interests, raising serious questions about his conduct and fitness for office. Despite this, Trump’s base remains largely supportive, viewing the trial as a politically motivated attack.

In typical fashion, Trump has used the trial to galvanize his supporters and raise funds for his campaign. Shortly after the verdict, his campaign sent out a fundraising email declaring, “I am a political prisoner!” Trump has consistently portrayed himself as a victim of political persecution, a narrative that resonates strongly with his loyal followers.

The guilty verdict against Donald Trump is a watershed moment in American legal and political history. It underscores the deep divisions in the country and the extraordinary challenges facing the U.S. political system. As Trump appeals the conviction and continues his presidential campaign, the nation braces for a tumultuous and contentious election cycle, with the former president’s legal troubles casting a long shadow over the democratic process.

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Saudi and Dutch Officials Discuss Logistics Cooperation at Port of Rotterdam

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RIYAD, May 29 (WARYATV) – Saudi Arabia’s Industry and Mineral Resources Minister, Bandar Ibrahim AlKhorayef, held discussions with officials at the Dutch Port of Rotterdam to enhance cooperation in logistics, according to the Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday. The talks focused on encouraging Dutch infrastructure investments in metal processing within the Kingdom.

The discussions emphasized Saudi Arabia’s role as a vital mineral supplier in the global supply chain and explored investment collaboration with Dutch companies in metal processing and recycling.

Minister AlKhorayef outlined the objectives of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, a key component of Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at bolstering the Kingdom’s industrial and logistics sectors.

During his visit, AlKhorayef toured the port’s FutureLand area, receiving a briefing on the array of services provided to shipping companies, including towing, docking, repairs, building, and supply.

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Papua New Guinea Orders Thousands to Evacuate from Path of ‘Active’ Landslide

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SYDNEY, May 28 (WARYATV) – The government of Papua New Guinea has mandated the evacuation of thousands of residents from the path of an active landslide that continues to pose significant danger. The evacuation order was issued on Tuesday following the catastrophic collapse of a mountain in the northern Enga region, which has buried an estimated 2,000 people.

Thousands of residents in the northern Enga region have been ordered to evacuate immediately due to the active landslide.

Initial estimates suggest that over 2,000 people have been buried by the landslide.

Relief teams have been working to access the affected area since Friday, although the terrain and continued instability of the landslide make rescue operations challenging.

The Papua New Guinean government, in coordination with local authorities and international aid organizations, has been mobilizing resources to assist with the evacuation and provide aid to those displaced by the disaster. However, the remote and rugged terrain of the Enga region complicates these efforts.

A government spokesperson stated, “Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the residents in the affected area. We urge everyone to comply with evacuation orders and move to designated safe zones.”

The northern Enga region is difficult to access, hindering the speed and efficiency of relief operations.

The landslide remains active, posing ongoing risks to rescue teams and residents.

Officials have indicated that the likelihood of finding survivors is low, given the magnitude of the landslide and the time elapsed since the initial collapse.

International aid organizations have been alerted and are preparing to assist with the relief efforts. The United Nations has also expressed its concern and readiness to provide support.

The disaster has displaced thousands of residents, leaving many in urgent need of shelter, food, and medical care. The government has set up temporary shelters and is working to provide essential supplies to those affected.

The government plans to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the affected area once it is safe to do so, aiming to develop long-term strategies to mitigate the impact of such natural disasters in the future.

The active landslide in Papua New Guinea’s Enga region has resulted in significant loss and displacement, prompting urgent evacuation efforts. The challenging conditions and continued instability of the landslide present ongoing risks, necessitating coordinated relief efforts and international support to address the immediate needs of the affected population and ensure their safety.

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