A major conference on war-ravaged Somalia that has become a global threat for harbouring extremist groups completed in London on Thursday. The conference comes at a time when the international community is optimistic the country is slowly regaining stability and normalcy following the success of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Kenya Defence Forces to wipe out Al-Shabaab militia in most parts.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has expressed satisfaction with the Amisom-led military mission in Somalia that has seen the troubled country show signs of recovery.
“The security situation has improved, I saw that for myself in Mogadishu yesterday (Thursday). Ninety-eight percent of the city is secured by AMISOM forces and TFG forces who have worked with them," said Mr Hague. The Foreign Secretary said Britain was pleased with the way Kenya has been in frontline in addressing the problems of Somalia and paid special tribute to Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF).
On the Other Hand,The UN Security Council unanimously agreed Wednesday to increase the African Union force in Somalia from 12,000 to 17,731 troops. A resolution passed by the 15-nation council gave the African force a tougher mandate to attack Shebab Islamist militants and substantially increased international funding for the military operation.
The resolution was prepared by Britain ahead of an international conference in London on boosting support for efforts by Somalia's transitional government to re-establish control in the country.
Minister Hague said, the UK backs the expansion of AMISOM and wants Somalia stabilised and its humanitarian development challenges addressed.Mr Hague further said Britain had provided development aid to Kenya and Somalia to help stabilise the horn of Africa country that has been in trouble since the overthrow of dictator Siad Barre in 1991.
"There are signs of normal lives and people are going to the shops and moving around, and going to the beach and so on. But that of course means the challenge is now there to follow up,” Hague said.
Mr Hague said millions of Somalis now have an appetite for peace and development after years of war.