'A ray of hope': London Somalia Conference, 23 February 2012

International relations Africa

Somalia is currently at a tipping point and needs greater support from the international community to move forward.

Over the last two decades, Somalia has been characterised by armed conflict and lawlessness, and often associated with famine, extremism, piracy, kidnapping, internally displaced persons, and refugees. In this time, numerous United Nations and intergovernmental task forces have attempted to deal with the effects of this struggling state, such as refugees and piracy, but little has been achieved in addressing the root causes of Somalia’s plight.

Ongoing concerns about security and the humanitarian situation in Somalia were recently brought to the fore by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who on 14 November 2011 announced that ‘Somalia is a failed state that directly threatens British interests’. Consequently, the British Government has scheduled a conference in London for 23 February 2012 to draw the international community’s attention to the protection of trade routes through the Gulf of Aden, anti-piracy operations, internal security, the impact of Somalia’s instability on regional countries, and ultimately to address ‘the causes of conflict and instability in Somalia’.

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