Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Galkayo (HOL) - The president of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas visited Qandala town months after the small port town made international headlines as ISIS-linked militants overran the town and announced it as their newest addition to their Caliphate.
In an unusual state visit, The president, and his delegates sailed in boats to Qandala late on Monday. Their journey on sea took several hours.
Upon arrival, the president met with Puntland army officials who are stationed in the city. The president also told reporters that he came to Qandala in person to survey the situation after widespread reports of looting and other destruction from local residents.
'The essence of my visit is to find out the needs of the residents are and the problems inflicted on them'.
'Puntland forces have liberated it (Qandala). Some of them were captured, some were killed while others have fled to far away places.' President Gaas said adding that some others have surrendered later.
President Gaas noted that Qandala is significant to the people of Puntland as being an ancient town known for its resources fishing resources.
President Gaas said from then onwards, Qandala security will be tightened with the deployment of ground troops as well as naval forces.
He pledged that his government will improve key services including enhancement in the education and health sectors in Qandala.