Britain gives Somalis hope
By Hassan Isilow
CAPETOWN: British foreign secretary, William Hague, visited South Africa- this week, amongst others, to engage with the Somali community in Cape Town, regarding the upcoming London Conference which will discuss the crisis in Somalia. Hague told the gathering he had come with a message of hope from the British government and wanted their input on the London conference due to take place on 23 February.
“Sir, the international community should not allow a political vacuum to happen in Somalia, since the mandate of the current Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia would expire this year in August,” a member of the gathering, Abdullah Ali Hassan, said in his address to the diplomat. Another Somali asked that the international community legitimatise the current transitional government by giving it full authority and international recognition.
Somali’s further requested the international community to lift the 1991 embargo imposed on the Somali national army. “We want the Somali army to be re-established and become internationally recognised,” a third Somali urged. Several Somalis at the meeting expressed gratitude to the British government for hosting the conference. Many Somalis believe the conference might put the Horn of Africa country on the road map to peace, stability and democracy.
Meanwhile Last week, the Somali Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, said he hoped the conference would produce a “Marshall Plan” to end the two decades of instability in the country. “Somalia expects a lot from this conference,” he said in a televised speech. British Prime Minister David Cameron will chair the February 23 conference, which is expected to attract a number of influential world leaders.
Somalia has been unstable since the over throw President Mohammed Siyad Barre in 1991. The long term instability has had a massive impact on the country’s social-economic fabric. (This article appeared in a number of Publications).