Saturday, September 14, 2013
Somalia's government and international donors will sign up to a
three-year plan on Monday to rebuild the violence-torn country, backed
by pledges of new funding that EU officials hope could reach more than
one billion euros (819.1 million pounds).
The Brussels conference
is aimed at consolidating fragile security gains in Somalia after two
decades of civil war and lawlessness triggered by the overthrow of
President Siad Barre in 1991.
Nick Westcott, a senior EU diplomat
dealing with Africa, said Monday's conference would be a "milestone in
terms of the political reconstruction of Somalia".
"We are beginning to see after 20 years of conflict Somalia pulling itself together," he told reporters.
28-nation EU is the largest donor to Somalia and helps fund the African
Union's Amisom peacekeeping troops, who have helped drive Islamist al
Shabaab rebels out of Mogadishu and many other strongholds in central
and southern Somalia.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and
international backers will sign up to a "new deal compact" at Monday's
conference, committing them to a series of goals in the areas of
inclusive politics, security, justice, economy and services.
International donors are also expected to pledge aid in support of Somalia's reconstruction.
officials would not say how much they expect to be pledged, but one EU
source said any figure above one billion euros would be "a significant
About 50 delegations will take part in the meeting,
including African countries, the United States, Japan, China and Gulf
countries as well as EU states.
Somalia will also on Monday join
the Cotonou agreement, the framework for the EU's relations with
countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, making it eligible
for aid from the European Development Fund.
The EU has previously
pledged 1.2 billion euros for Somalia between 2008 and 2013. It has also
launched several missions to help Somalia strengthen its security,
including a counter-piracy force and a mission to train the Somali
($1 = 0.7542 euros)
(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Andrew Heavens)