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 Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid