Somalia / by Alistair Galloway

The international community continued to collaborate on their efforts to provide aid to Somalia. The German foreign minister made a surprise visit to the capital, in which he pledged a further $76 million USD in aid to help with famine relief. The London Somalia Conference, hosted by the United Kingdom was extremely productive: the participants adopted the New Partnership for Somalia, a framework of mutual accountability aimed at achieving peace, stability, and security in the country. While Somalia and Turkey both asked that the arms embargo be reviewed, British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson argued against it, claiming that weapons may fall into the wrong hands and further hinder progress. At the conference, Saudi Arabia pledged USD $10 million to combat Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group that has consistently been attempting to undermine the western-backed government. Last month, the Pentagon approved of intensifying air-strikes in Somalia, and Africom Commander met with the president of Somalia this month to discuss collaboration between US Special Forces and the Somali National Army Forces in the fight against terror. Uganda also pledged to double its troops posted under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), while a continent of four experienced Zambian police officers recently joined a team of Individual Police Officers under the Mission. In spite of heightened security response, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for various attacks around the country, including attacks on Ethiopian troops, on a government soldier at the capital, an attack in the Somali parliament, and the kidnapping of aid workers. Furthermore, the Islamic State recently claimed its first attack in Somalia in the town of Bosaso, where a suicide bomber killed at least five people. Internal tensions in the Galgaduud region left six dead, over territorial and resource disputes between two sub-clans in the area. The arrival of the rainy season has provided little relief, disease and malnutrition are still rampant in the country. The World Health Organisation reported at least 200 to 300 reported cases of cholera daily, as well as increasing numbers of measles in the pre-famine conditions. As such, the UNICEF, the WHO, and the Federal Government have collaborated to administer oral vaccinations to children of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who live in camps where such diseases are frequent.