June 27, 2017

British, UN leaders to address Somalia humanitarian crisis

14 May 2017, 01:09 | Jan Cross

In a conference on Somalia help in London yesterday, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the Somali army are fighting Al-Shabaab with "AK-47s" and "light weapons" which are inadequate.

Speaking at the conference, Guterres said the United Nations had presented a revised humanitarian response plan for Somalia, seeking an additional $900 million by end of year.

The conference is co-chaired by the Somali president, Guterres and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Nevertheless, significant progress has been achieved since the last conference on Somalia in London five years ago.

"Losing an American serviceman is a awful thing under any circumstances, but our presence there and the fact that we're prepared to make that sacrifice underscores how serious this is for us", says Shannon, speaking exclusively to Newsweek on the sidelines of a global summit on Somalia in London.

The aim is for a 20,000-member Somali force to take over responsibility for the country's security from the AU mission Amisom by 2020.

But al-Shabab, which wants to overthrow the country's internationally-back government, still carries out targeted assassinations and frequent suicide attacks in southern Somalia and Mogadishu.

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USA counter-terrorism and security advisors have been present in Somalia for at least the past decade and have carried out at least 42 drone strikes since 2007, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Newly displaced Somali mothers and their children in a camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia.

The UK is helping to build stability in Somalia through UKAid, with a strong focus on statebuilding, stabilisation and supporting more effective and accountable institutions, as well as through the deployment of around 70 UK Armed Forces personnel, who are supporting the Somali National Army.

Mogherini pledged 200 million euros to bolster Somalia's development, stability and security.

World leaders gathering in London have been urged to cancel drought-hit Somalia's debt as millions of people in the African country face starvation. "We now have the third warning on its way and the response has not yet reached the threshold required", said Sara Pantuliano, managing director at the Overseas Development Institute, in a press statement.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama is in Milan to deliver a keynote speech on food security and the environment, two issues that he has long worked on. The conference did not, however, focus exclusively on addressing the current severe humanitarian crisis.

"We must save lives before it is too late", he told an global conference in London yesterday. To that end, I will spare no effort to realizing the promise of my campaign, which was to fight Somalia's three major enemies: "terrorism, corruption and poverty".

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