Ethiopia called today from the General Assembly not only for immediate aid to help the 13.3 million victims of drought and famine in Somalia and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa but also for the “even more crucial” means to achieve sustainable development in the region.
“Our youth need to have their hope for the future not frustrated; and the condition of our women and children require much greater attention. Poverty, on top of denying people their human rights, is also not a solid foundation on which peace and security can be built,” Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne said.
“We don’t believe enough is being done which is commensurate with the gravity of the danger to humanity in general. Moreover, the whole issue embodies injustice because Africa and the developing world happen to be the worst affected while contributing the least to climate change.”
The call made on Saturday at a UN mini-summit on immediate aid for Somalia – at which at least $218 million in new aid for the Horn of Africa was pledged – needs to be reiterated and amplified and more should be done for Somalis, he said.
But “what is even more crucial in the Horn of Africa is sustainable development,” Mr. Desalegne declared.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that the regional East African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in close collaboration with the East African Community (EAC), the African Union (AU) and the UN, has been the linchpin in efforts to assist Somalis achieve peace, stability and national reconciliation.
With the al-Shabaab Islamic terrorist driven out of Mogadishu, Somali the capital, and the tide turning against them, there is new hope in Somalia which should be sustained, he said, praising Uganda and Burundi for the sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, as the two countries spearheading the efforts of the AU peacekeeping force known as AMISOM.
“It must be underlined, that this is a fight which has humanitarian and developmental implications, not only security or political,” he added.
“That is why the successful cooperation of the IGAD countries for stability and security in the Horn of Africa, and in the fight against terrorism and extremism, has been so vital and needs the wholehearted support of the international community, the General Assembly, and most particularly, the Security Council.”
“We also stress the importance of increasing humanitarian aid to millions of refugees and displaced persons among the Somali people,” he said.
“We are confident that the neighbouring countries of Somalia share our belief in the need for political solutions to this chronic crisis in this country. We also confirm to the Secretary-General of the UN that we are fully prepared to support the efforts of the UN in this regard.”
He also reaffirmed his country’s continuous cooperation with the UN and the international community in eliminating terrorism.