US envoy calls for more focus on Somalia

The United Nations special envoy for Somalia was in Washington on Friday to press for more attention on efforts to stabilise the country.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah says that the West needs to exert leverage on power brokers in Somalia who have bank accounts abroad. Western countries can also help mobilise Somali expatriate communities to support peace talks.

Speaking at an event at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, he said that in Western countries “the focus is not there”.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Its weak transitional government, backed by Ethiopian troops, is struggling to quash an Islamic insurgency.—Sapa-AP


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