Turkish PM Erdoğan urges renewed international mission for Somalia

Turkish PM Erdoğan urges renewed international mission for Somalia

Turkish PM Erdoğan urges renewed international mission for Somalia

Somali President Ahmed shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan. AA photo

It is necessary to implement a new international mechanism or mission that will support the Somali administration in building a state, according to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“I think, for example, it is time to discuss founding a new and empowered United Nations Mission for Somalia. The U.N. can launch a strategic revision study in Somalia as an initial step,” Erdoğan said in his speech at the Somalia conference in Istanbul yesterday.

The tragedy in Somalia does not belong only to the locals, but to all humanity, Erdoğan said, adding that problems in the country will be solved thanks to the unity of the Somali people.

“When a snake is in the house, one need not discuss the matter at length,” the prime minister said, referring to a Somali proverb. “There is a problem in Somalia. There is a problem in Somalia, but arguing over ‘you’ or ‘I’ instead of solving the problem will only prolong the problem.”

Somalia needs national security bodies for the normalization process, but the country still needs help to maintain its security services, Erdoğan said, adding that although Turkey has already headed an international to establish a “fund for restructuring the security sector in Somalia,” the presence of AMISOM, the African Union security force, is still needed. Turkey has decided to grant $1 million to AMISOM this year, as it did in 2009. However, there are many obstacles hindering AMISOM’s ability to act as a local public peace body, the prime minister said.

Turkey’s efforts to create development agencies in Puntland and Galmudug are about to be finalized, Erdoğan said.

“Children have no nationality. They do not have a chance to choose the color of their skin, their language, their beliefs or the country they live in. Somali children, who bear no responsibility for the current situation, are carrying the weight of the world on their little shoulders. I am not talking about toys, books, notebooks or pencils. These children go to sleep without eating even a few grains of rice or a bite of bread, and some of them do not see the morning. Anyone who touches those little hands, or who has witnessed the sorrow in their eyes in those tents cannot sleep in peace that night,” Erdoğan said.