Somali exiled leaders to return home

Somalia's exiled government is seeking $77.3 million to fund its relocation from Kenya and restore law and order to the war-torn country, officials in Nairobi have said.

    President Ahmad has announced plans to return to Somalia

    The money will help the transitional government to rebuild district and regional administrations and launch efforts to reconcile the country.

    Somalia has divided into a patchwork of battling fiefdoms ruled by heavily armed militias, according to a document presented to UN officials and diplomats.

    With thousands of militias  roaming Somalia, there has been no effective central administration since civil war erupted in 1991.

    Creating a government

    Last year, a group of Somali politicians formed a government in exile, based in Kenya, with Abd Allah Yusuf Ahmad elected the transitional president. 

    Somali government officials plan to begin relocating to the Horn of Africa nation on 21 February, "but all depends on the way the donor community supports us", Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Gidi told the donors at a meeting. 

    Somali politicians formed a
    transitional government in Kenya

    Donors have so far contributed and pledged at least $7 million  out of the $77.3 million the government has calculated it needs, according to the document.

    The programme will begin with the relocation of the government to Somalia and will run for six months. 

    International recognition

    Diplomats at the meeting said they expected firm commitments to be made now that a date for the return had been set. 

    Somalia's government, formed after complex negotiations between regional commanders, clan leaders and civil society representatives, is based in Kenya because Somali capital  Mogadishu is considered too unsafe.
    Plans to restore peace, law and order in Somalia, however, do not cover the breakaway republic of Somaliland that refused to recognise President Abd Allah Yusuf, who was chosen by the transitional parliament last October.
    The government is seeking $23.3 million to disarm and demobilise 53,000 militias and reintegrate them into civilian life.

    Re-building civil society

    It is also appealing for $2.03 million to relocate 987 government officials, traditional leaders and activists to Somalia.
    They will be relocated throughout Somalia "in order to root the newly formed institutions into the country", according to the appeal.
    Somali officials are also asking donors to provide money to help them form a new police force and repair police stations and command centres. 

    Militia violence has been the bane
    of Somalia for over a decade now

    The biggest challenge will be restoring law and order. The African Union announced on Tuesday that it had
    authorised five east African nations to deploy troops and equipment to help with the government's return home.
    The size of the force has yet to be decided, though the Somali cabinet has asked for a combined 7500 troops from
    African Union and Arab League nations

    Somalia has had no effective central government since opposition leaders ousted dictator Muhammad Siad Barri in 1991. Then they turned on each other, sinking a nation of 7 million into anarchy.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.