Save the Date: London Conference on Somalia on 23 February 2012

As indicated in a recent post, the UK will host the London Conference on Somalia on 23 February 2012. Around 40 governments are expected to attend, along with the United Nations, African Union, European Union, World Bank, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, the Organisation of Islamic Conference, and the League of Arab States. Representatives of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Institutions, as well as the Presidents of the breakaway and autonomous regions of Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug are also expected to attend. Ahead of the Conference, the UK Foreign Secretary today visited Mogadishu for the first time in nearly twenty years.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. More than twenty years of civil war have had a dramatic effect on Somalia and its population. Announcing the Conference, UK Prime Minister David Cameron described Somalia as “a failed State”. Notably, the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions currently in charge of governing Somalia is due to end in August 2012.

The conference will discuss how the international community and Somali political leaders can step-up their efforts to tackle both the root causes and effects of the problems in the country. Central to the discussion are, obviously, anti-piracy efforts and perspectives. We will be trying to closely follow any relevant development in this regard, both on this blog as well as on our facebook page. In the meantime, those who are interested in this topic can follow the debate on the blog of the newly appointed UK Ambassador to Somalia.

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