A Somali official has praised Italy’s show of commitment towards President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed’s efforts to stabilize the country after years of insecurity.
Abdirahman Omar Osman, who is also the treasury minister, said Italy’s pledge to fund key ministries is a major boost to the government.
“We very welcome this and we have been expecting (it). It shows the Italian government’s commitment toward helping the institution of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). As you know, the Transitional Federal Government has been faced with challenge against al-Shabab (which) is linked with Al-Qaeda. Without our institutions functioning properly, it will be very difficult to wipe out or to combat al-Shabab,” he said.
Italy pledged to fund daily operations of Somalia’s foreign ministry, finance and the national security ministries. It will also help train an anti-terrorism police unit and coast guard as well as pay the salaries of police officers.
The pledge follows a recent meeting between President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Italian officials in neighboring Kenya.
Osman said the pledged funds will help rebuild Somalia’s broken institutions.
“This will help us greatly in rebuilding our institutions. As you know, the Somali government faces the challenge in terms of for the last 20 years we have civil war and no functioning institutions. And the first thing we need is to build up our institutions so they can become strong, and this will help our security force as well, and it will bring peace and stability to the Horn of Africa,” Osman said.
The transitional government has been battling hard-line Islamic insurgents, including al-Shabab, who have vowed to overthrow the administration.