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Somalia launches biometric IDs in major boost to security and economic development

Storyline:National News, Security

GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADSHU: Somalia has rolled out the issuance of biometric national IDs in a first marking a major milestone in citizen identification and the fight against terrorism.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Barre were the first to receive the new IDs which identify holders by name date and place of birth, unique number and signature. It was not immediately clear which other security features the new document contained.

President Mohamud said the roll-out of the new IDs was ‘a key milestone in our state-building process as this crucial document shall enhance security, public service provision and provide our citizens a means to establish their identity.’

PM Barre said that the new biometric ID system would open more opportunities for the citizens, while creating conducive environment for national cohesion. The Prime Minister reiterated that the inception of the National ID will help the Somali people overcome myriad socio-economic challenges that hinder their development potential while advancing democracy and rule of law.

Security experts have also lauded the launch of the IDs as a major boost in the fight against Al-Shabaab. National Security Advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali said the new IDs will revolutionise the security sector.

‘The ability of our security agencies to identify individual citizens with traceable features is, indeed, a significant milestone for ensuring the safety and security of the country,” Ali said.

The National Identification & Registration Authority (NIRA) which is hosting a two-days conference in Mogadishu said the roll-out of the IDs will enhance security and address crucial national issues.