2014-04-24
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Britain secures £200m to help build a Somalian state
David Cameron shakes hands with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
David Cameron said the conference showed the world had rallied to support Hassan Sheikh Mohamad, right, who has taken the reins of the first government working in Mogadishu for 22 years Photo: GETTY

Telegraph.co.uk
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Britain secured more than £200 million of funding to build a functioning Somalian government today as Prime Minister David Cameron declared the war-torn state should be ready to hold nationwide elections by 2016.

Whitehall promised to spend £35 million on security and government services as well as £145 million on preventing and coping with future famines. The new pledges are a significant jump on the £77 million Britain had promised to spend on Somalia over the next two years.

More money was drummed up from the US, which promised an extra $40 million (£25.8 million) and the EU which committed an extra 44 million euros (£37 million). Other nations at the 55 country and organisations also pledged extra resources.

The centrepiece of the second Somalia conference Britain has hosted in as many years is a programme to train and equip an army of 25,000, double the number of policemen, roll out a modern coastguard, create a system of courts and tax collection as well as establish government ministries.

Mr Cameron said the conference showed the world had rallied to support Hassan Sheikh Mohamad, the new president, who has taken the reins of the first government working in Mogadishu for 22 years.

Mr Cameron said progress had been "remarkable" since the last meeting, with the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, al-Shabaab, pushed to the brink of defeat across the country. "Al-Shabaab has been driven out of town after town, piracy is down 80 per cent and there is a new federal government in place."

The challenge for Somalia's supporters is to create a situation in which youths were not falling for the "poison" of Islamic fundamentalism for the price of a mobile.

"This is not just vital for Somalia, this is vital for Britain, for our national security," he said. "If we ignore it we will be making the same mistakes in Somalia that we made in Afghanistan in the 1990s. I'm not prepared to let that happen."

Among the plans, British funding will immediately support is a project to rebuild the central prison of Mogahdishu a building that has not been renovated since it was constructed in 1832.





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