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Somali PM Calls for Plan Like US Afghan Strategy


In a letter published Saturday in the British newspaper 'The Times,' Omar Sharmarke said Obama's plan for Afghanistan, announced in a speech Tuesday, 'marks a sea change in international support to troubled countries.'

Somalia's prime minister is asking for U.S. President Barack Obama's vision for Afghanistan to be applied to his country.

In a letter published Saturday in the British newspaper The Times, Omar Sharmarke said Obama's plan for Afghanistan, announced in a speech Tuesday, "marks a sea change in international support to troubled countries."

Prime Minister Sharmarke said Somalia needs similar aid, to restore an effective government and train security forces, to police Somalia's waters to ensure only Somalis profit from the fish, oil, and gas, and to launch a vocational training program for young people.

Mr. Sharmarke said the chaos and conflict Somalia has endured since the last stable central government fell in 1991 may appear "beyond repair," but he said it can be fixed.

Referring to warships sent by the international community to combat Somali pirates, he said his proposal would cost a quarter as much, and would "solve the problems rather than simply chasing them round the Indian Ocean."

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama announced he would send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to fight insurgents and accelerate the transition of responsibility to Afghanistan's own security forces. He also pledged to support Afghan ministries, governors and local leaders, while holding them accountable for corruption.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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