London conference backs Somalia terror fight

World leaders have pledged to boost support for measures to fight piracy, terrorism and political instability in Somalia, after a meeting in London. The conference agreed a seven-point plan promising more humanitarian aid, support for African

World leaders have pledged to boost support for measures to fight piracy, terrorism and political instability in Somalia, after a meeting in London.

The conference agreed a seven-point plan promising more humanitarian aid, support for African Union peacekeepers and better international co-ordination.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the world must keep Islamist militant group al-Shabab “on the run”.

A two-decade war has wrecked Somalia, leaving it without a proper government.

The current transitional government has direct control only in the capital, Mogadishu. It is propped up by 12,000 African Union (AU) peacekeepers.

Al-Shabab militants, who recently joined with al-Qaeda, control large swathes of territory.

Mrs Clinton ruled out talks with al-Shabab, saying that its decision to join forces with al-Qaeda showed “it is not on the side of peace, stability or the Somali people”.

However, she said the international community was ready to engage with anyone willing to renounce violence and embrace the peace process.

Somali officials had earlier urged targeted air strikes against al-Shabab targets, but Mrs Clinton said there was no case for that kind of action.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, hosting the conference, said setting up an inclusive government was vital to the country’s future, and that it must work alongside AU military action.

“Those young people who take up guns for al-Shabab need to be able to see that there is a future in a prosperous stable Somalia that offers them what everyone wants, which is a job and a voice,” he told a news conference.

“So the connection between military action to put huge pressure on Shabab, which has been happening, and the political process, they are two sides of the same coin.”

In a final communique, the 55 countries and organisations gathered in London said they would:

  • back the handover of power from the transitional government to an inclusive administration by August
  • provide more support for African Union peacekeepers
  • better co-ordinate humanitarian aid, shifting focus to long-term needs
  • crack down on piracy by expanding on agreements to bring suspects to trial in countries away from Somalia

At the start of the conference, President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, leader of the transitional government, said Somalis wanted to shake off “horrendous memories of the past”, but feared the gathering might be just another diplomatic talking shop.

 

“Today we are looking for security. We are scared,” he said.

“We want to know what happened to the resolutions, all those hopes in the past which never saw the light of day, and which remain as mere words on pieces of paper.”

Representatives from many Somali factions attended the London conference, but al-Shabab was not invited.

The militant group denounced the London conference as another attempt to colonise Somalia.

“They want us under trusteeship and we will not allow that. God willing we will face the outcome with full force and stop it,” said al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage.

The Islamist militants were forced out of Mogadishu last year, and are under pressure from Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali government troops elsewhere.

On Wednesday, Ethiopian and Somali troops took control of the strategic stronghold of Baidoa, in the south-west of the country, from al-Shabab.

The BBC’s Mohammed Dhore in Mogadishu says security is extremely tight in the city because of the conference, with more than 50 roadblocks compared with the usual five.

BBC

aseye.assenna@googlemail.com

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7 COMMENTS
  • Rahayta February 23, 2012

    wish the Somalians peace but one Somalia nation is broken beyond repair. it is in the steps of afghanistan. i fear Iraq, yemen, sudan, libya are the next candidates add to that syria, bahrain
    eritrea is lucky, the good people of ethiopia will save her.

  • Rahayta February 23, 2012

    poor Simalia this is how they started london conference,
    Globalpost said about the leaked document “NAIROBI, Kenya — Oh dear, this is embarrassing for the British government. A number of Somali-run websites have got their hands on a leaked copy of a draft communique to be issued after the London conference on Somalia. The international summit has been convened by Prime Minister David Cameron and will address piracy, terrorism and the root causes of Somalia’s state collapse. This is a tall order for a five-hour meeting with more than 40 countries represented. The problem with the communique is that the conference hasn’t happened yet: It is due to take place on Feb. 23.
    Here is the leaked Document and pay attention to number 7 below (We agreed that in August the functions of government should pass to a caretaker authority until the constitutional discussions concluded).
    Leaked on Monday, February 13, 2012

  • HGDF February 24, 2012

    It is a good thing to hear that the leaders were gathered to discuss somalia problem. The problem is all prioritize their own agendas and interests. The UK is only concerned how to eliminate the islamists and secure sea route for its vessels. Ethiopia sees somali unstability as a great blessing and is using it as a means of weakening the historic rivals in the horn (somalia and Eritrea). At this time it is using the somali case a big playing card against the Eritrean government. Kenya sees somali instability as a blessing as long as it doesnt spread closer to its borders. Other countries like uganda and rwanda use it as a source of income by sending peace keepers.
    With this kind of actors in the playground I doubt if there is going to be some positive outcome from this meeting.

    • GOOD MAN February 25, 2012

      The outcome of this is the end of HGDF. HGDF have a good time in Badiwen.

  • tegadalay February 24, 2012

    in the london conference says US is considering sanction on the somalia spoilers did you know who are in the list you will be suprise that is the T F G what abaout eritrea we heard in 2009 sanction ERITREA is aspoiler & we heard in 2011 the some now all of the suden THE T FG is the spoiler what is this flip flap by eritreas enemys way it is not working after THE UN clear ERITREA from wrong doing in somalia THE WORLD sees the real pictrue find out the true to make ERITREA scapegoat for failing ajenda in somalia is over so if you want know what iam talikng abaout go to WWW. MESKEREM look for the ar ticle it says US IS CONSIDERING SANCTION ON SOMALIA SPOILERS click go all the way down you will see the article

    • Abrhaley February 24, 2012

      Can’t say much about your hatewtow…but you are using a name that you don’t qualify. Eritrea is country with almost 100% veteran population. Your childish mentality to get attention you called yourself “tegadalay” Call yourself weyto.

  • tegadalay February 24, 2012

    look in this conference picture MELES looks like craying he put his hands covring his mauth & his girl frind SUSAN RICE is not in the conference poor MELES he was thinking he was going to hear ERITREA name in the conference his wish didnt come true

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