13 May 2017

East Africa: Premier Urges International Community to Support Somalia

Photo: Daily Nation/Xinhua
The wreckage of the car bomb after it exploded outside a Somali government building (file photo).

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn urged the international community to extend more support to Somalia in the fight against terrorism.

Speaking at London Conference on Somalia , Premier Hailemariam said though successful achievements have been attained in weakening the fundamentalist group Al-Shabab, many works remain to combat the threats of terrorism in Somalia and outside.

He added that strengthening AMISOM and the Somalia National Army which have been confronting the terrorist group directly would be important to ensure sustainable peace in the country and the region at large.

Hailemariam further underlined the need for capacity building in Somalia government which enables it to lead effectively.

"Let us empower the federal government of Somalia. Let us speak loudly with one voice. Let us be focused, follow one channel of intervention for regional and international collaborative action. This, I believe could be the only viable option," he said.

The premier insisted that the countries in the region would continue to pay every necessary sacrifice to restore the long-sought-after peace and tranquility in Somalia and across the region.

As drought is looming in the region, Hailemariam said the drought and migration situations will have serious political and security implications and need to be urgently addressed.

The influx of huge number of refugees from conflict and drought affected countries in the region has been imposing serious burden on hosting nations like Ethiopia and swift measures should be taken to address the problem, according to him.

He asserted that supporting Somalia's economy and improving the life of each Somali will be crucial in maintaining lasting peace and sustainable development.

At event,United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May also said countries which have contributed to AMISOM combatants including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi have suffered great causalities in the fighting against Al-Shabab.

"But, because of these efforts, Al-Shabab has been pushed back, piracy largely contained and new momentum being revealed to the political process," she said.

May called for extraordinary hard work and sacrifice from Somalis themselves and from the coalition partners to avert the threat of terrorism in the country.

"AMISOM are over-stretched and those troops contributing countries cannot be expected to carry the burden of Somalia's security forever," she noted.

For his part, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said political stability has been gradually restoring and the foundations for improved peace and stability should be strengthened the fragile political situation of the country.

"We need investment that sustainably alleviate the food insecurity crisis affecting millions of Somalis," he said.

Meanwhile, at the conference, the European Union has pledged 200 million Euros for development endeavors and humanitarian assistance in Somalia.

The development funding will be channeled through the European Union Trust Fund for Africa, which aims to address the root causes of destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration, according to FBC.

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