News / Africa

    African Leaders See Historic Opportunities for Somalia

    Hailemariam Desalegn attends the inauguration ceremony of Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu September 16, 2012. Hailemariam Desalegn attends the inauguration ceremony of Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu September 16, 2012.
    x
    Hailemariam Desalegn attends the inauguration ceremony of Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu September 16, 2012.
    Hailemariam Desalegn attends the inauguration ceremony of Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu September 16, 2012.
    African leaders say the election of a new Somali president holds historic opportunities for peace and stability that the international community must not let pass.  

    South African President Jacob Zuma says the international community must back the people of Somalia as they embrace the new freedoms of a new government after decades of conflic

    "Sustainable peace is possible in Somalia.  The adoption of the provisional constitution has set in place the foundation for building the pillars on which peace will thrive," said Zuma.

    Hassan Sheikh Mohamud won election as Somali president earlier this month, ending a long transition process made possible largely because African troops expelled al-Shabab militants from the capital, Mogadishu.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn says the new Somali government needs a lot of help from the international community, but help that does not infringe on Somali ownership of its own recovery.

    "We have no doubt that the new leadership will continue to deepen national reconciliation and focus on building and strengthening the necessary governance institutions to ensure the provision of basic services and promote economic recovery.  There is real momentum for durable peace in Somalia, and the chances for making the process irreversible have never been as excellent as they currently are," said Desalegn.

    European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton says the election of a new Somali president is a decisive turning point.  But she says the work of transformation is just beginning.

    "We have to review quickly and carefully how the international community is organized so we can react and coordinate our support.  This country deserves a united, efficient and transparent organization of our international assistance," said Ashton.

    In the next four weeks, Ashton says there should be immediate support for the new government.  In the next four months, she says there should be a "New Deal for Somalia" that forms the basis for development through new elections.

    "And then finally, the four years' time: the strategic phase in which we consolidate security, build Somali capacity, reintegrate Somalia into the international financial institutions, and help to prepare for those elections," she said.

    Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says the new Somali government understands well the breadth of the challenges before it.

    "We expect that due attention will be given to developing the institutional and legal framework of democracy, rule of law and human rights - including freedom of religion.  Once the new constitution will be fully implemented, civil coexistence will be truly effective in Somalia," said Monti.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the international community will continue to back an African Union intervention force as it advances on al-Shabab positions in the port of Kismayo, alongside fighters allied to the new Somali government.

    "We will work closely with the new government as it takes more of a leading role.  We will maintain our support for the security sector and focus on sustainable and comprehensive reform.  As more areas are liberated from al-Shabab, the government will need to establish police forces and courts," said Clinton.

    With more than 2 million Somalis still in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance and many more facing hunger and malnutrition, Clinton says donors must not forget those Somalis who have fled the country.

    "Kenya has been extremely generous in sponsoring hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and we have to continue to work over time to relocate those refugees back in their homes," she said.

    Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki wants U.N. agencies and international donors to move Somali refugees from camps in Kenya to areas of Somalia no longer under al-Shabab control.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.