SOMALIA: New Somali Minister for Women Kidnapped

Thursday, July 21, 2011
Voice of America
Eastern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security

Somalia's new minister for women has been kidnapped by the militant group al-Shabab, less than a day after her appointment.

Reports citing a relative and various Somali officials say Asha Osman Aqil was seized by al-Shabab fighters in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region.

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali had named her to his cabinet on Wednesday.

Bloomberg News quotes Somalia's work, youth and sports minister as saying Aqil was assisting drought-affected people in the town of Jowhar when she was captured.

The United Nations declared a famine in Somalia's Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions on Wednesday.

There has been no comment about the kidnapping from al-Shabab.

The group is attempting to overthrow Somalia's United Nations-backed government and establish an Islamic state.