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Real Concern About The Prospect Of A Major Emergency


Somalia has been without a central government for more than 17 years and, reportedly, for the past several months, the Ethiopian-backed interim government has been struggling to exert its control over the country. Last week the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the humanitarian situation in the strife-torn nation is deteriorating partly because of rising insecurity.

Matt Bryden is an independent analyst for the horn of Africa. He explained to VOA’s Akwei Thompson why, in general, conditions have been deterioration in Somalia since the formation of the Transitional Federal Government in 2004.

Bryden said the support base of the TFG has shrunk over time. “The Transitional Federal Government has becoming increasingly factionalized and some of those factions have left the government since it was formed…” he said. On the other hand the new opposition forces have been getting stronger and militarily effective, he added.

Bryden said the delay of peace talks scheduled for last Saturday was not necessarily a major problem as “both sides have sent their delegates to host the talks…and both sides have shown their confidence in the UN special representative, Ambassador Ahmed Ould Abdalla.”

On the economic front he went on to say that there was “real concern about the prospect of a major emergency in the near future. ” He said, however, the problem is “less a shortage of food than first a problem of inflation” caused by a number of groups “printing Somalia currency and pushing it into the market, destroying peoples savings and pushing up prices.”

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