Donors step up ties with Somalia

Major Western donors have stepped up efforts in recent weeks to reengage with Somalia, opening the way for increased development assistance to the post-conflict country.

Donors step up ties with Somalia; praise rebuilding efforts

By Lesley Wroughton and Paul Eckert

(Reuters) – Major Western donors have stepped up efforts in recent weeks to reengage with Somalia, opening the way for increased development assistance to a country trying to shake off years of conflict.

A senior British official said in Washington that London will host a conference with the new Somali government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on May 7. The meeting will focus on rebuilding the security forces, police, and justice system and discuss resuming relations with the World Bank.

Somalia has been mired in civil strife for more than two decades, leaving the African nation in grinding poverty, militancy and maritime piracy, without a functioning central government.

“Part of the challenge of mine is to communicate really the degree of opportunity and success that has happened so far in Somalia – mixed with a fairly hard-nosed realism about some of the old challenges that still exist there,” said Nick Kay, Africa Director at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Kay said Somalia was the top priority in Africa for Britain, which planned to reopen its embassy in the capital, Mogadishu, in the coming months.

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Source: Reuters.

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