“Today we are looking for security, we are scard of tomorrow,” said President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed in a London conference with other world leaders to discuss the conditions of Somalia. I originally thought the conference would bring together leaders and peace-keepers as they take a look at the humanitarian concerns, giving that fact that famine was a huge problem in the Horn of Africa.
It’s great world leaders can get together and discus how they can help Africa, but will this too be another written promise that gets broken or piled up with all the other improvements that needs to get done in Africa? Or like President Ahmed said “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.” Somalia for the past year alone has gone through droughts, increasing deaths rates, famine and terrorism threats. Now their facing another cry out to the international world to help with humanitarian aid and security.
Analysis at African Arguments commented:
“In the past, you may well have heard those working in the ‘humanitarian’ community clamouring for humanitarian and development concerns to be made central to a conference of this type. But in today’s world, a political and security-focused conference of this type throws up dilemmas for us. In fact, the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, agreed to co-chair a humanitarian side event, but only on the condition that a line was drawn between the humanitarian event and the main conference.
With increasing difficulties in gaining access to assist populations in need, most international aid agencies prefer that humanitarian issues be kept entirely separate from the international political and security agenda. Aid agencies have seen how the use of humanitarian issues to justify military or political actions can backfire and impact badly on the most desperate of populations. They are aware that they must maintain a strictly neutral stance, and not be associated with any party to the conflict. Unless and until a political solution is found to the problems in Somalia, the humanitarian crisis will be never-ending.”
So what did world leaders decide to do about Somalia? According to BBC News it’s been reported as a result of the conference leaders agreed to a seven-point plan promising ‘more humanitarian aid, support for African Union peacekeepers and better international co-ordination.’
Although there were representatives from many Somali factions, al-Shabab was not invited. The militant group stated today’s conference as another way 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.
Here are a few of the issues Somalia is facing relating to security that were brought up in the conference:
• Al-Shabab militants, who recently joined with al-Qaeda, control large portions of territory
• A two-decade war has destroyed Somalia, leaving it without a proper government
• The government only has direct control in the capital, Mogadishu.
Let’s all hope that after today’s London conference true actions will be taken by world leaders and the international community as a unit.