More int'l support needed to solve Somalia's crisis: president

08:41, February 22, 2010      

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Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed takes an exclusive interview with China's Xinhua News Agency in Mogadishu, capital of Somali, Feb. 21, 2010. More supports from the international community for Somalia's transitional government were needed to solve the country's prolonged and complicated crisis, said the president in the interview on Sunday. (Xinhua/Liu Chan)


More supports from the international community for Somalia's transitional government were needed to solve the country's prolonged and complicated crisis, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said on Sunday in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

"The international community gives us (the transitional government) many support, but is not as much as we expect. But still we are thankful, and (the support is) helpful to us," Ahmed said.

The president said he took office at the hardest time for Somalia, and since then his administration has been exerting continuous efforts to push for reconciliation of the country's warring sides.

"To make Somalia peaceful is a big responsibility and we have taken a number of tasks in talking and communicating to them (the warring sides) the importance of peace and to take part in peace," Ahmed said.

However, as time goes by, the situation in the Horn of Africa country has become far more complicated than could be expected, he said.

"When the central government of the Republic of Somalia lost in the 1990s, different ideology came to grow and created problems in Somalia," said the president.

Somalia has been plagued by civil strife since the overthrow of military strongman Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. The nation of about 8 million people has had no effective government for almost two decades.

Ahmed, a moderate Islamist, was elected president of the transitional government in January 2009 by the expanded Somali parliament following UN-brokered peace talks.

Islamist insurgent groups, which now control almost the entire south and central Somalia except for a small part of the restive capital Mogadishu, have been mounting deadly attacks against forces of the transitional government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), causing heavy casualty in troops and civilians.

The fragile government faced the deadliest single suicide attack on its rank on Dec. 3 last year, when three senior ministers and dozens of civilians were killed in a suicide bomb explosion that struck a graduation ceremony at a hotel in a government-controlled area in southern Mogadishu.

Earlier this month, State Minister Yusuf Mohamed Siyad Indha Adde survived a suicide car bomb attack, in which at least five people were killed and more than 14 others, including two of Adde's bodyguards, were wounded, also in the government-controlled area in the capital city.

Meanwhile, the piracy problem in Somalia, partly resulting from the country's anarchy, was also a big headache for the government, the president said.

"Piracy is a major problem we are facing because they can earn money from those ships, because they can use it for unlawful activities that create problems..." said Ahmed.

Somalia is going through a difficult time, Ahmed said. A strong government could not be established without strong and effective support from the international community, he added.

"We are still young. We need more help to grow up soon," said the president.

Source: Xinhua
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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90855/6898518.pdf