UK officials visit Somalia ahead of its conference on Somalia next month

UK has sent its special representative to Somalia in a move that apparently seeks government support for the upcoming London conference, later next month.

A group of UK officials headed by its special representative to Somalia, Mr.Matt Bough, on Monday arrived in Mogadishu where they held talks with the Somali Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali over the upcoming event.

Speaking to the press in Mogadishu, Mr. Baugh said the London conference will be attended by high ranking officials from the Somali government and the president of the breakaway region of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo.

Somalia’s PM briefed the visiting delegation on the recent military activities in Mogadishu where TFG and the African Union Force cleared Al-Shabaab remnants from the city.

This is the second team from Britain to visit Mogadishu since Britain announced hosting an international conference Somalia and next February.

On 15 December last year, a UK delegation led by David Cameroon’s adviser visited Mogadishu to lay grounds for the highly awaited international conference on Somalia in London on Feb. 23 next year.

Britain has earlier last November announced that it will host an international conference next year on tackling instability in Somalia and protecting ships from pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Somalia was a “failed state that directly threatens British interests,” citing attacks on tourists and aid workers, and radicalisation of young Britons by militant Islamist groups with roots in the region.

He said there is pressing need to pull together the international effort and that is why Britain will host a major conference in London next year.

The Somali conference was to “focus attention on protecting merchant ships passing through the Gulf of Aden, tackling pirates, pressurising the extremists, supporting countries in the region and addressing the causes of conflict and instability in Somalia.

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