Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornagraphy without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

ENCORE!

“Booty Looting” memory and mediums

Read more

WEB NEWS

Another Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

DEBATE

Eastern Ukraine: the escalation (part 2)

Read more

  • 2 dead, 100 missing after ferry sinks off South Korean coast

    Read more

  • Putin warns Ukraine "on brink of war" as Kiev continues "anti terror" operation

    Read more

  • Syria “torture” photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • Deadly fire rips through Chile’s Valparaiso for third day running

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' to redeploy for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for NSA revelations

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • Americas to see 'Blood Moon' total lunar eclipse

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Africa

International community pledges support to fragile government

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-23

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lead dozens of countries to form an agreement to back Somalia's fragile government Saturday, as it struggles to wrestle power back from Islamist insurgents and stem rampant piracy off the coast.

AFP - Dozens of countries pledged Saturday to help Somalia's fragile government boost its military, wrest back power from Islamist insurgents and combat the piracy plaguing the Horn of Africa nation's waters.

Expressing "full support" for President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and his transitional federal government, they said the "reestablishment, training, equipping, payment and retention of Somali security forces is vital for long-term stability."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who opened the two-day international conference in Istanbul, said Somalia's government was the only barrier to chaos in the war-ravaged nation.

The transitional government was established in January 2009, but its authority -- challenged by Islamist insurgents -- only extends over a small part of the capital Mogadishu with the backing of African Union troops.

Ban told delegates from 55 nations and 12 international organisations that "the only way to restore stability is to support this government in its reconciliation effort and its fight against extremism."

"If the international community acts now, I think it can make the difference," he said.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner urged international organisations to return to Mogadishu, the scene of near daily battles between government forces and Islamists.

"We shouldn't abandon the (transitional government) in Mogadishu. The international community should be present in Mogadishu... We can't have UN agencies working all around it but not in Mogadishu," he said.

France, which has trained 500 Somali soldiers, is ready to join a training programme for Somali police and soldiers that is to take place in Africa, he added.

In their declaration, the countries identified six priorities for the country's development: telecommunications, transport infrastructure, livestock, fish, banking and alternative energy, and pledged to support pilot investment projects.

Talks also focused on the international drive to combat Somalia-based pirates that prey on commercial shipping in key maritime routes in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

Ban and Kouchner met prior to the start of the conference, with the French foreign minister telling the UN chief that more development aid and security in Somalia would help curb piracy, a French official said.

To this end, Kouchner urged Ahmed's government to step up joint actions with Somalia's breakaway northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland, and promised French help to curb illegal fishing in Somali waters, which pirates often blame for their activities.

The UN Security Council last month unanimously adopted a resolution drafted by Russia that urges all states to toughen legislation aimed at prosecuting and jailing pirates caught off Somalia.

Ahmed, who attended the conference, stressed that piracy was not just a matter of law and order, saying that ending it depended on bringing stability and better economic conditions to Somalia.

"The Somali people are living in poverty and to earn easy money some of them harm our peaceful image," he said. "It's not just a question of security and politics, it's a human problem."

Kouchner urged Ahmed to "expand the political base of consensus which will make Somalia tip to the side of peace."

While appealing for international support, Ban also used his keynote speech to remind the transitional government of its obligations.

"The government must also start to deliver, uphold services to the Somali people, pay salaries to the security forces fighting on their behalf and continue efforts to build up security-sector institutions," he said.
 

Date created : 2010-05-23

  • SOMALIA

    Shebab rebels lay siege to presidential palace

    Read more

  • SOMALIA

    Ban Ki-moon calls for global support for Somalia govenment

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)