Somalia’s al-Shabaab dismisses ‘waffle’ plan

Somalia’s al-Shabaab dismisses ‘waffle’ plan

BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
Somalia’s hardline Islamist al-Shabaab militants rejected a recovery deal approved by a list of international donors, calling the attempt “a Belgian waffle” with “not much substance to it.”

International donors met yesterday to approve a “New Deal” for Somalia to drive its economic and political recovery after two decades of bloody civil war.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud faced one of “the most difficult challenges in the world,” EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said as they went into the meeting.

Failed promises 

However, in a dismissive commentary, Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants dismissed the conference as “Belgian waffle” and a waste of time.

“The billions promised will most likely be unpaid, the paltry sum given to the apostates,” it said, using its term for the Somali government, “will be lost in corruption.” “It’s a bit like Belgian Waffles: sweet on the outside but really has not much substance to it. They are just hollow promises of Kufr”, or infidels, it said.

Mohamud said he was “very grateful” for all the effort made on behalf of his country, highlighting four priorities among the many tasks ahead -- security, legal reform, public finances and economic recovery.

The New Deal Compact sets out government priorities and future international support. High on the agenda are plans to get one million children into school in a country that has one of the world’s lowest enrollment rates, with only four of every ten children in class.