Somalia has called for international action to defeat militant group, Al Shaabab, in the lawless Horn of Africa nation to enable the fledgling transitional government stamp its authority in the country.
Speaking in Nairobi, Somali Foreign Minister Yusuf Abrahim said the defeat will enable the government get twin benefits of preventing the insurgents from exporting suicide bombing to other countries and enable the government organize credible elections in August 2011.Ibrahim warned that Al Shaabab's link to Al Qaeda means that it will carry its attacks beyond Somalia borders, as it did with the Kampala bombings in July that killed 76 people. "What has happened in Kampala (Uganda) can be repeated in any other country. We are concerned and we thought other countries are concerned too. So a joint effort should be made in order to stop this terrorism action of Al Shaabab," he said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.The minister said there is need for international financial and material support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that is struggling to fight the insurgents from taking over presidential palace and the airport in the capital Mogadishu.He said the current ongoing military support efforts in addition to the AMISOM is the training of about 950 young Somali men and women expected to beef-up the TFG army starting this month.The intensity of the attacks by the insurgents fighting to dislodge the TFG and install a Sharia-law complaint administration has affected the transition process of the Somalia that is supposed to culminate in elections in August 2011.Other transition tasks like the making of a new constitution, its implementation, making of election laws and the national census are all behind schedule."If the security situation eases and we are helped to restore peace, then these tasks will get finished. It will make it easier for people to participate in democratic elections," said the minister.The participation of the citizens in choosing the next government is seen as crucial for peace because it is almost two decades since the Somalis had a nationally accepted government.The current government is a result of peace negotiations brokered by regional and Western countries in Kenya in 2000 that culminated into the subsequent deals among clan leaders and the warlords in Nairobi in 2005. "Where people can participate in the election of the new government, a permanent government is possible. The most important thing is how efficiently and how quickly we can improve security situation."Ibrahim warned further delay could escalate suicide bombing adventures by Al Shaabab in other African countries and possibly expand to Europe and United States.The Islamist group has threatened to attack any country that directly aids peacekeeping efforts in the troubled Horn of Africa country. "The nature of terrorism is something that nobody alone can stop because organizing the suicidal bombing in any place is possible. The world has witnessed what has happened in Iraq and in Afghanistan," the minister said. "It has happened in United States and many parts of the world. So the solution should be to empower AMISOM so that it can have enough firepower and personnel to fight the Al Shabaab."Ibrahim said the urgency of the international support cannot be overemphasized because of the international nature of the Al Shaabab organization. "You know there are many foreign Jihadists who are in Somalia who are training and giving material and financial support to the Al Shabaab. This is creating an additional force that combined with Al Shabaab can carry out attacks in many territories."The minister said the recent resignation of Somalia Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is an indication that there are political forces within the country that are keen to resolve political differences in a democratic and peaceful means. "The former Prime Minister has really considered the interest of the people to end the crisis in the government," he said. "Now it is the duty of the president to appoint a new Prime Minister and then the Prime Minister will select cabinet and that way the Somali government will function normally so that crisis in the government will stop now and the new government will come to power."The minister said quick appointment of the PM is important to ensure that the activities of the government continue even in the face of the security threat faced by the government.He said he hoped the new Prime Minister will form a government that can be able to implement policies on security, economy and politics to give people hope of improving stability.brahim said the war-wrecked country is counting on its key allies like China to increase their support in the face of the security, social, economic and political problems the country is facing. "As President Sharif Ahmed was saying, Somalia and China have a very long history of cooperation even going back several hundred years. Even during the peace time, the two governments were cooperated on many bilateral issues," he said.Ibrahim acknowledged that the Chinese government now supports transitional federal government and has expressed its interest in helping pacify Somalia through peaceful initiatives. "So we are eager to work with the government of China because it is a member of the United Nations Permanent Security Council that makes some crucial decisions regarding the security situation in Somalia."
The minister added that he believes China "will play an important role in helping the government and Somali people to have a functioning government that will pave way for stronger economic ties between our two countries." Source: Xinhua