DONORS MEET ON SOMALI INSECURITY,PIRACY THREATS


Donors meet in Brussels this week to discuss urgent funding for Somali security forces and African Union peacekeepers in what will be an important test of support for the chaotic country’s new government. President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s administration is the 15th attempt in 18 years to set up a central government in Somalia, which has been ravaged by an insurgency and feuding warlords.

donorsMore than 1 million people have been uprooted by fighting in the past two years, a third of the population survives on food aid, and the turmoil has spilled into the international shipping lanes offshore, where Somali pirates are wreaking havoc. Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader elected in January at U.N.-brokered talks, is seen by many diplomats monitoring Somalia as the best hope in some time for restoring stability.

The U.N. special envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, said Thursday’s conference must send all Somalis a clear message that the whole international community was focused on fixing the Horn of Africa country’s problems once and for all. “For me, money is indicative, we may get more, we may get less. But the overall result should not be about money. It’s the message we send, to say: enough is enough,” he told Reuters.

“I’m optimistic about the diplomatic message … it’s a show of solidarity with the people of Somalia.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will co-chair the meeting with Jean Ping, chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission. Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League, will attend, as well as senior officials from the European Union and United States.

SOURCED FROM BBC

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