London Conference on Somalia should define commitments in support of peace process: Jean Ping
Laaska News Jan 30, 2012
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — The London Conference on Somalia, scheduled for Feb. 23, should define commitments in support of peace process of Somalia, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Jean Ping said here Saturday, ahead of the 18th African Union (AU) summit.
The London Conference, coming six months before the end of the transitional Somali government’s mandate, was a “game changer” for Jean Ping. “The conference should set the bar on what to expect of the Somali political leadership and people, who must always be at the center of all our endeavors”, he said on the occasion of the AU ministerial meeting on Somalia, part of on-going preparations for the London Conference.
“More importantly, the Conference needs to come out with the political and multifaceted material support which would be commensurate with the requirements of our shared ambitious goals in Somalia,” added the AUC chairperson.
London Conference on Somalia, initiated by Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, is expecting around 40 governments to attend, along with the United Nations, African Union, European Union, World Bank, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the League of Arab States.
Issues regarding security, political process, humanitarian, piracy, such as sustainable funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and support for Somali security and justice sectors, agreement to what should succeed the transitional institutions in Mogadishu in August will be discussed during the conference.
Jean Ping also said he was an incurable optimist with regard to Somalia, quoting that the joint TFG (Transitional Federal Government) and AMISOM operations defeated the Al-Shabaab again in the first contact outside of Mogadishu on Jan. 21.
However, he pointed out that at this critical stage, Somalia requires political, financial, military and diplomatic heavy lifting.