Somali President Abdiqasin Salad Hassan said on Friday that his government needs the African Union (AU)'s support in settling the conflicts which has been tormenting the country over the past decade.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua here at the Chissano International Conference Center, where the second AU summit is being held, Hassan said that the establishment and operation of a regional security mechanism is vital to those turbulent countries, such as Somalia.
Hassan, who leads the Somali transitional government, said that the government delegation and other parties have been holding peace talks in Nairobi under the help of the Kenyan government, saying the talks is proceeding step by step.
"The AU leaders have discussed the Somali issue at the summit meeting. They hope the meeting will produce an agreement that will bring permanent peace in the country," he said.
The Somali president said that the AU should play an important role in help Somalia achieve peace and restore order, adding that an AU military force will be needed to accomplish the task of disarmament at a proper time.
The protracted conflict continues to rage for more than a decade and has caused the displacement and deaths of many Somalis,he said, calling on the AU to pay more attention to the Somali issue.
"While other conflicts on the continent drew immediate and timely attention from African countries and foreign powers, Somalia continues to suffer from the benign neglect of the international community and particularly that of Africa," said the president.
The Somali transitional government, which is denied by the armed factions, can only exercise control of the capital of Mogadishu and other nearby areas. The country's economy suffered heavily from the years of conflicts.
The prevention of armed conflicts is one of the several main issues to be discussed at the second AU summit from July 10 to 12 in Maputo, Mozambique.
Abdiqasin was elected president of Somalia at a peace conference in neighboring Djibouti in August 2000 in the first serious attempt to set up a central government for the country since the 1991 fall of former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.