SOMALIA,UN APPEAL FOR MORE BACKING FOR AU FORCE


Somalia’s new government, backed by the United Nations, appealed for financial and political support from around the world on Friday to bolster the fragile peace process in the Horn of Africa country.

The Somali foreign minister and the U.N. envoy to Somalia called at a Security Council meeting for funding for African Union peacekeepers and fledgling domestic security forces in the violence-torn nation and cooperation with the new authorities.

U.N. envoy to Somalia Ahmedou Ould Abdallah said the country, a byword for anarchy for 18 years, had come “back from the brink” since Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was elected president in January under a U.N.-brokered reconciliation process.

Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar urged the council to forget stereotypes about his country. “Today in Somalia, there are no warlords. There are no clan wars. There are no political factions holding the country hostage,” he said.

He admitted, however, that “some … still refuse the offer of peace and dialogue.”

The hardline Islamist group al Shabaab, together with allied militia, control large swathes of southern Somalia, including the strategic towns of Baidoa and Kismayu.

Al Shabaab, which fought pro-government Ethiopian troops until they left in January, has vowed to go on attacking the 3,500-strong AU peacekeeping force known as AMISOM. Eleven soldiers from Burundi died in an attack last month.

SOURCED FROM REUTERS

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