News / Africa

Horn of Africa Leaders Address Security Concerns at Drought Summit

Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and their host, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki, sit together at the drought summit in Nairobi, Kenya, September 9, 2011
Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and their host, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki, sit together at the drought summit in Nairobi, Kenya, September 9, 2011

Leaders attending a Horn of Africa Crisis summit in Nairobi Friday expressed deep concern about the drought crisis in the region and instability in Somalia.  East African leaders paid particular attention to the security concerns posed by an influx of refugees.

A declaration was issued at the end of a summit at U.N. headquarters in Nairobi, noting the drought and famine crisis poses serious threats to all countries in the region.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, whose country hosted the summit, noted that Kenya is already accommodating hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees at the Dadaab refugee camps.  

The massive influx of people escaping the ravages of famine also present serious security challenges, Kibaki said.

“With the large number of people arriving at the camps on a daily basis it has become more difficult to control the smuggling of small arms and light weapons into the neighboring countries.”

The declaration also calls for the United Nations and the international community to consider enhancing the mandate of AMISOM, the African Union force in Somalia, from that of a peacekeeping mission to one of peacekeeping enforcement.

The statement did not specify what that change would entail.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi called for more support for forces that are supporting Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, or TFG, in areas previously beyond their control.

"We need urgently to support the TFG, AMISOM and other forces to create corridors of humanitrarian assistance in the liberated areas and beyond," President Meles said. "This will reduce refugee outflows and make it possible to assist populations inside Somalia inside their own home areas."

Uganda and Burundi already contribute forces to AMISOM, while Djibouti has recently announced that it will send a battalion to join the force.  Kenya, on the other hand, has refused to participate in the mission.

AMISOM and the TFG recently drove the al-Qaida linked militant group al-Shabab out of the capital, Mogadishu, but widespread areas of the country remain under militant control.

In addition to security concerns, participants at the summit also called attention to the threat of climate change.  They said addressing the ecological conditions that are creating cycles of drought in the region is essential to finding a long-term solution to the crisis.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid