Somalia hosts heads of state summit for 1st time in 30 years

MOGADISHU: Somalia is hosting its first regional summit of African heads of state in 30 years, a source of pride in this Horn of Africa country after years of chaos and attacks by al-Shabab extremists.

Security measures are high, and residents say celebrations of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha have been severely restricted in recent days.

Among the countries expected is Sudan, whose President Omar al-Bashir would be defying a warrant for his arrest from the International Criminal Court if he arrived.

Somalia's government said Tuesday that leaders also were expected from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and South Sudan for the summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development regional bloc.

The crisis in South Sudan and Somalia's upcoming elections are two of the top issues for discussion.