Somalia secures over $200 million in aid jiziyah for “security”
- Executive Moonbattery: your tax-dollars hard at work:
- Somalia, a failed state BECAUSE OF ISLAM, “needs our support”- Â on which warlord will our elites waste our money?
BRUSSELS (Reuters) â€“ International donors pledged on Thursday to give Somalia at least $213 million over the next year to build up its security forces, fight piracy and restore order after more than two decades of anarchy.
* Good luck with that!
Donors made the pledges at a conference in Brussels at whichÂ United Nations Secretary-GeneralÂ Ban Ki-moonÂ and Somalia’s president, SheikhÂ Sharif Ahmed, appealed for funds to improve security on land and to stop piracy off the Somali coast.
The seizure of international ships in theÂ Gulf of AdenÂ andÂ Indian OceanÂ byÂ SomaliÂ gangs has driven up insurance rates and other costs in sea lanes linking Europe to Asia, and Washington has long tried to ensureÂ al QaedaÂ cannot operate in Somalia.
“Somalia is standing at a crossroads and we have seen so much strong support,” Ban told a news conference at which theÂ United NationsÂ announced how much aid had been pledged.
“We need to be very realistic in the sense that the peace and stability may not take place tomorrow morning. We need to be patient but continuously commit ourselves.”
Organizers of the meeting, chaired by Ban and theÂ African Union, had said more than $250 million was needed for next year to improve security in a state which has had noÂ central governmentÂ since 1991 and is mired in conflict.
Louis Michel, theÂ European Union‘s commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, said the amount could be more than $250 million if costs of equipment were taken into account.
EU officials said the aim was to build up a police force of some 10,000 and a security force of 5,000. Support was also sought to boost the 4,300-strongÂ African Union missionÂ AMISOM.
BACKING FOR AHMED
ManyÂ world leadersÂ say Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader elected at U.N.-brokered talks in January, offers the best hope in years of restoring stability, though his administration is the 15th attempt in 18 years to set up a central government.
More thanÂ one million peopleÂ have been uprooted by fighting in the past two years and a third of the population survives on food aid.
“Restoring security and stability inÂ SomaliaÂ is vital to the success of the reconciliation effort and the survival of the unity government,” Ban told the conference, held under the auspices of the United Nations. “Much remains to be done.”
Ban reiterated he had no intention of sending a U.N. force to Somalia any time soon, saying peacekeepers would go only when “circumstances and conditions are appropriate”.
EUÂ foreign policy chiefÂ Javier SolanaÂ said he believed the commitment of the new Somali government and the backing of the international community would lead to the defeat of piracy.
Ahmed, Ban and EU leaders underlined the need to combat the gangs involved in piracy on land and at sea. The gangs have hijacked dozens of ships, taken hundreds of sailors hostage and made tens of millions of dollars in ransoms.
“We are firmly determined to undertake reforms … to try to alleviate the suffering of theÂ Somali people. However, we can only achieve real progress if we manage to restore security to the country,” Ahmed said.
On piracy, he said: “All action in combating this problem has to start not just at sea but also on land.”
The piracy has worsened despite the presence of naval forces from more than a dozen countries, including task forces underÂ NATO, EU and U.S. command.
(Editing by Timothy Heritage)