London conference aims for stable Somalia under new chief

Drought in Somalia led to the destruction of crops and livestock, leaving more than 3.3 million people hungry every day.

The U.K. pledged £100 million (US$129 million) in February in aid to Somalia, where more than 6 million people- more than half of the population -are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

"Al Shabaab has tripled its attacks on Mogadishu, and Somali forces do not yet have the capability to take over control of their own security", May said in opening remarks.

He spoke to reporters at the end of a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation's deepening humanitarian and security crisis.

Guterres added that over six million people in Somalia need humanitarian aid and 275,000 children could die of hunger.

World leaders gathering at a special conference in London today will hear that Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

NAN reports that the United Nations says the humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate and an elevated risk of starvation persists in some parts of the country, only six years after the devastating 2011 starvation led to the death of over a quarter million people, half of them children.

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Mohamed, who was elected in February and holds US citizenship, suggested that the worldwide community develop a road map to achieve lifting the arms embargo within several months or "maybe next year".

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was elected in February and also holds US citizenship, has repeatedly vowed to defeat al-Shabab within two years.

"We are here to listen to Somalia's leadership - and to agree on a framework for cooperation", Secretary-General António Guterres told the heads of State and Government from across East Africa and other key partners at the London Somalia Conference 2017.

"More than six million people in Somalia need assistance, or almost half of the population".

Somali President Farmajo said he believed al-Shabab could be defeated in "the next few years" but called for a lifting of the U.N. Security Council arms embargo on Somalia. "It's also a threat to global economy from piracy and it's also a dire humanitarian crisis where now there is alert for starvation and very hard drought situation".

Somalia also confronts the worst outbreak of cholera in five years, with nearly 690 deaths so far this year and cases expected to reach 50,000 by the end of June, the World Health Organization said in a statement Thursday.

Save the Children CEO Kevin Watkins said: "Somalia continues to drift towards an avoidable starvation". He called for "decisive action" including increased help from the World Bank.

  • Marjorie Miles