Jueves, 23 Marcha, 2017

Britain's Boris Johnson in surprise visit to Somalia

UK foreign secretary discusses drought on Somalia trip Boris Johnson: Moving fast to tackle famine threat
Manuel Armenta | 21 Marcha, 2017, 02:58

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived in Somalia on Wednesday morning for an unannounced meeting with the new Somali president.

Somalia recently declared the drought a national disaster amid warnings of a full-blown starvation.

The country faced a similar crisis in 2011 that killed almost 260,000 people.

A spokesman for the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office was unable to comment immediately on the nature of the trip due to security concerns.

Somalia's president blamed the drought in part on homegrown extremist group al-Shabab, which continues to control parts of the country.

"This drought is really serious, and so far we have lost 60 percent of our livestock", the president said.

Even as Johnson visited Somalia, the Somali-born Olympian Mo Farah backed the new aid appeal for the region.

He said: "As a father of four, it hurts to see children without food and water, but this is a reality being faced by parents in East Africa right now". "I was born in Somalia and it breaks my heart to hear stories of how families are suffering".

WATCH: What can be done to save millions facing starvation?

"To be clear, we can avert a starvation", O'Brien has said.

"I think we're moving fast to try to tackle that this time round and the UK Government has pledged £110m to try to kick-start that work and make sure we get supplies to those who need it".

Nigel Tricks, Oxfam's Horn of Africa regional director, said Wednesday that "the window is short in which we can still avert a famine" in the regional crisis.

The drought also affects millions of people in parts of Ethiopia and Kenya, where the government recently declared a national disaster for about half of its counties. It also pledged a similar amount to South Sudan similarly facing a devastating starvation.

Mr Johnson saw demonstrations of the training that the British Military are providing to Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces.

The Foreign Secretary met with President of Somalia Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Khayre to discuss the drought affecting large areas of east and west Africa and how the United Kingdom and Somalia are working together to improve the security situation to allow the economic development that can help reduce the country's vulnerability to natural crises.

Mr Johnson also met with regional leaders, newly elected Somali MPs and joined a training session for Somali prosecutors and law students which is helping to improve the Somali criminal justice system.