News / Africa

Britain Vows to Step Up Fight Against Somali Terrorism, Piracy

Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed, center, receives diplomatic credentials from British ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh, right, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, at Mogadishu's presidential palace, February 2, 2012.
Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed, center, receives diplomatic credentials from British ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh, right, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, at Mogadishu's presidential palace, February 2, 2012.

In a visit to Somalia's capital of Mogadishu Thursday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague promised to step up the fight against terrorism and piracy. Hague is the first British foreign secretary to visit the war-ravaged city in two decades. 

Secretary Hague's visit comes during a time of relative peace and security in Mogadishu, since African Union (AMISOM) troops and forces of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) pushed al-Shabab out of the capital last month.

Hague announced that Britain has appointed its first ambassador to Somalia in more than two decades. Matt Baugh will serve as London's new senior envoy to Somalia and will be based in Kenya until security conditions allow an embassy to be built in Mogadishu.

Hague said the British government is well-prepared to do more to stabilize Somalia and to create more legitimacy and accountability in the political institutions.

“With the further expansion of the AMISOM forces, of which we hope will be agreed at the United Nation, for countries to work effectively together to counter terrorism and piracy, and to highlight the need for effective humanitarian and development aid in the future," he said. "Again so that this country can succeed in a way that it has not been possible over the last two decades.”  

In less than three weeks, the British government will host an international conference on Somalia in London, chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron. More than 40 countries and international organizations are expected to attend the conference to address Somalia’s future.

Adjoa Anyimadu, the assistant Africa Program researcher for Chatham House, a foreign policy institute in London, said Hague is sending a message on behalf of the international community that they have an interest in peace in Somalia and they are willing to talk to Somali people about finding a solution.

“There is more feeling in the international community to spear a united approach to help Somalia solve its problems," she said. "Especially within the last year, when famine affected large part of Somalia, a lot of high-level officials from all over the world have taken real interest in what is going on there and are trying to come together to help Somalia find a solution, particularly as the TFG mandate expires in August.”

She also said there is an understanding within the international community that Somalia's political problems cannot be solved without involving Somalis in the discussion.

Secretary Hague says there is a future for Somalia and its people and the conference will be an important moment in the Somalia's history.

The country has not had a functioning central government since President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. 

Despite recent victories over militant group al-Shabab, the transitional government asserts little authority outside Mogadishu, enabling pirates to operate on the country's coastline, while al-Shabab continues to control areas of central and southern Somalia.

Hopes for a turnaround have been hampered by infighting in the government. The country has gone through several prime ministers in the last few years, and lawmakers recently exchanged punches in parliament because of a dispute over the speaker.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More