New package of aid for Somalia
At a conference in London on 23 February, the international community discussed ways to support Somalia and stabilize the country in the long term. Participants were of the opinion that a new political process and continued financial assistance were needed to provide fresh impetus for the country’s development and alleviate the suffering of the Somali population.
Medical treatment for the people in Somalia
© UN Photo
Representatives of around 50 states and international organizations met in London to discuss how to bring movement into the process of crisis resolution in Somalia. They all agreed that the country was experiencing a “key moment” in its history. “Somalia finally needs lasting, robust structures so that it can break free of the vicious circle of violence, poverty and piracy,” explained Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who represented the German Government at the conference.
The situation in Somalia has long been regarded as extremely difficult. Political instability, poverty and a lack of security have had a negative impact on the entire region. Somalia’s society and politics are characterized by an extremely complex clan system. The Transitional Government, which was established in 2004, has never managed to gain effective control in the whole of central and southern Somalia. Its mandate will expire in August.
A new chapter in Somalia's history
Westerwelle said it was high time “to open a new chapter in Somalia’s history”. The authorities in the country had to tackle the necessary reforms – for example drawing up a new constitution and better integrating the country’s regions – at long last, he went on to say.
The conference participants agreed that the Transitional Government’s mandate should not be extended. Rather, they welcomed the Transitional Government’s various agreements that charted the way towards more representative government.
At the beginning of September 2011, representatives of the Transitional Government, the regions of Puntland and Galmudug as well as the Sufi grouping of Ahlu Sunna adopted a Roadmap on ending the transition in Somalia. Its main goal is to achieve progress in the areas of security, the constitution and elections, reconciliation, and good governance.
Humanitarian aid for Somalia
Furthermore, the German Government pledged another six million euro in order to improve the living conditions of people in urgent need of help in Somalia. “Germany will not abandon the people in Somalia and the Horn of Africa,” Foreign Minister Westerwelle said on the sidelines of the conference.
The projects Germany supports focus on supplies for internally displaced persons in the Mogadishu area and refugees in the camps at Dadaab in Kenya and Dolo Ado in Ethiopia. The aid is delivered by established humanitarian non‑governmental organizations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as well as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
Other states also pledged to increase their funding for humanitarian assistance.
Security Council discussion on Somalia
On 22 February, shortly before the London Conference, the UN Security Council decided to increase the personnel of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) from about 10,000 to up to 17,700 soldiers and police officers. Resolution 2036 also envisages a ban on the export and import of charcoal from Somalia, which is considered a source of revenue for the Islamist al‑Shabab militia. In London UN Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon called on the international community to provide continued support to AMISOM and the Somali troops assisting the mission.
Last updated 24.02.2012