British, UN leaders to address Somalia humanitarian crisis

Bryan Strickland
May 14, 2017

"Bringing together leaders from around the world, this conference accelerated progress on security sector reform, built on the worldwide response to the ongoing drought and humanitarian crisis and agreed the new global partnership needed to keep Somalia on course for increased peace and prosperity by 2020", said the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a statement released on Friday.

Delegates from more than 40 countries gathered at the United Kingdom -hosted conference on Somalia Thursday to consolidate support for the Horn of Africa state.

British Prime Minster Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for more support to counter Somalia's deadly drought, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year.

Cairo, London, Jeddah - An worldwide conference hosted by the British capital on Thursday discussed means to promote stability in Somalia and support efforts deployed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to face the country's major security and humanitarian challenges. He said 275,000 malnourished children were at risk of starvation.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary General António Manuel chair the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London, 11 May, 2017.

World powers agreed plans in London to support and train Somalia's army and police to take over duties now performed by the African Union.

The worldwide community still appears to have many doubts about Somalia's capacity to keep weapons out of the clutches of Al-Shabab, which has called for attacks on the West as well as launching major incursions into Kenya and other neighboring states.

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who took office in February after a complex Western-backed electoral process, called for a lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia to give his armed forces an advantage over al Shabaab fighters.

Peter Salama, WHO Executive Director for Emergencies said history has shown the bad consequences of inaction, or action that comes too late.

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Mohamed said he was not asking for that now, but rather when Somalia had achieved some of the milestones set out in the security pact.

In the village of Gumar, not far from the border with Ethiopia, Action Aid workers distribute food parcels to people that will last them a month or more.

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"We are only there in an advise and assist role; we are not doing the fighting".

"Al Shabaab has tripled its attacks on Mogadishu, and Somali forces do not yet have the capability to take over control of their own security", May said in opening remarks.

Somalia has been mired in violent chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned against each other.

With your support, we have reached 1 million people in #Somalia this year.

"Access restrictions are also the work of clan militias and disgruntled government and federal state forces engaging in predatory behaviour and routinely erecting barriers on major highways to extort money", said a spokesperson of the International Crisis Group.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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