Somalia Needs Continued Support to Accelerate Progress: IGAD Chairperson Featured

11 May 2017
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Addis Ababa May 11/2017 Somalia will continue to need “substantial support” from regional and international community to maintain the progress gained so far, IGAD Chairperson and Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said.

While addressing the London Conference on Somalia, Prime Minister Hailemariam emphasized the need to consolidate the support to accelerate the progress.

“Let us empower the federal government of Somalia. Let us speak with one voice. Let us be focused, follow one channel of intervention for regional and international collaborative action. This, I believe, is the only viable option. Otherwise we can be sure that the progress will be so sluggish”, he said.      

The support of the international community is most needed in fighting terrorism, mitigating the drought, curbing cholera outbreak and ensuring economic recovery are important to ensure lasting peace and sustainable development in Somalia, the premier added.

Noting that Al-Shabaab is on the retreat, Hailemariam expressed concern as it still remains dangerous with the capacity to launch terrorist attacks both in Somalia and outside.

Strengthening AMISOM and the Somalia National Army that can effectively deal with al-Shabaab and progressively take over from AMISOM is critical.

“We, in the region, would continue to shed our blood, pay immense sacrifice and do whatever is just and necessary to restore the long-sought-after peace and tranquility in Somalia and across the region. There is no greater contribution – no greater solidarity than this” he stressed.

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

The number of refugees from conflict and drought affected countries in the region crossing into neighboring countries will continue to rise unless an intensified  response mechanism has been put in place.

The outbreak of the cholera epidemic in Somalia with spillover effects is also a cause for concern that needs a close follow up and intervention.

Supporting Somalia’s economic recovery that offers the country better livelihoods and jobs, and generates domestic revenue will be essential to enduring stability and sustainable development.
In his opening remarks, Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed promised to take steps to nurture democratization, fight terrorism and corruption, ensure stability and unleash its potential towards development.

“We believe that the only path to fully recovering Somalia is strengthening our democratic institutions. 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.”

Acknowledging that good politics must be inclusive, participatory, vibrant, and on a leveled playing field, the President said the government is committed to solidifying the federal system of governance.

Noting that dialogue on sharing of natural and national resources has already begun, he expressed commitment to be engaged in an in-depth discussion about matters of national importance along with other stakeholders.

President Mohamed, who stated that security remains paramount for his administration, added that the new National Security Architecture and the Security Pact gives Somalia the tools needed to strengthen the Somali National Army and introduce an improved policing model.

Together with AMISOM, the President expressed confidence that Somalia can defeat Al-Shabaab in the next few years.

In this regard, he called on the necessary support from the international community to be able to defeat Al-Shabaab.

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