World Bulletin/News Desk
The Somalia Core Group meeting, which took place on Jan. 18 in the Turkish capital, Ankara, discussed the rebuilding of the Somali army, according to United Nations Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Philip Mahiga.
Mahiga, speaking to a group of Turkish journalists, stated that the meeting focused on the latest developments in Somalia as well as the rebuilding of Somalia's security forces.
“The rebuilding of an army is not something that can be done overnight. You have to equip the army and rebuild the barracks. Somalia's army was zero. This meeting was specifically organized to discuss on how the international community can help in building the Somali army,” said Mahiga.
Turkey is part of the Somalia Core Group and has recently signed an agreement with Somalia on training, technical and scientific cooperation in the military field.
“We appreciate Turkey's hospitality and leadership on the issue,” said Mahiga, adding that Turkey's military cooperation agreement with Somalia was very welcome.
Somalia's troubles result from a 22-year-long civil war in the country, which began in 1991 when a coalition of clan-based armed opposition groups ousted the nation's long-standing military government.
Stability is gradually returning to Somalia after insurgents of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab were forced out by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali armed forces in August 2011.
“Rebuilding the army is important in order to continue the fight against al-Shabaab but also to make the Somalia ready for the post-AMISOM era. One day AMISOM will leave Somalia,” said Mahiga.
Mahiga stated that meeting was also important in terms of coordinating efforts of the countries contributing to the Somalia peace process.
“Currently these efforts are ad hoc. What I mean by ad hoc is that the EU is training the Somalia army, Italy is providing food for the army, the US is responsible for the payment of the army and many other countries are also supporting the army. These efforts should be organized. So, this meeting is important in building coordination mechanisms on how can we maximize support,” said Mahiga.
Prior to the meeting, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selçuk Ünal stated on Wednesday that the meeting would focus on Turkey's projects in Somalia and issues regarding the rebuilding of the Somali security forces, as well as the current situation in Somalia. Ünal added that the Somalia Core Group meetings, which take place every three or four months, bring together countries undertaking projects in Somalia.
Mahiga stated that the countries involved in the peace process in Somalia participated in the meeting. “The US, the UK, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, the African Union, the UN, some participants from Gulf countries and all the countries in AMISOM are the participants,” said Mahiga.
Mahiga stated that Somalia defense minister as well as the country's chief of defense forces also participated in the meeting, where the needs of the Somali government were discussed.
Mahiga said that meeting was of great importance. “This meeting in Ankara could not have come at a more propitious time for the Somali peace process. Turkey has been one of Somalia's staunchest supporters and it is perfectly correct that this significant meeting takes place in this proud capital city,” Mahiga told.
Davutoglu says they will foil all attempts that reach out for Turkey's national will and resources masked as anti-graft efforts
Haniyeh said the Turkish support has proven vital in easing the suffering of the residents of the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Energy minister says government plans large-scale investment in Kahramanmaras, indicating foreign interest in similar investments in Turkey's Mediterranean city
Some 1,122 -over 26 percent of total- of foreign-partnered companies were founded directly by Syrians or as partners with local businessmen between January and November.
Turkey's AFAD says the government spent nearly $12 million in aid to shelter-seekers from Kobani
Hundreds of people from all backgrounds have gathered in Ankara at the Pakistan embassy to honour the victims of the Peshawar attack this week.
"You will respect the decisions of Turkish judiciary and the rule of law," says Erdogan in caustic response to EU criticism of recent police probe and detentions
Turkey will be an extra regional observer at the Central American Integration System in 2015.
Three formal acquittals followed between 2006 and 2011, but the Istanbul criminal court reopened the case again, and last year sentenced Selek, who lives in France, to life in prison.
Turkish President Erdogan has said that Turkey and Qatar stand together with the oppressed people of the world
Istanbul prosecutor asks court to issue arrest warrant for U.S.-based preacher Gulen in a probe. He was charged with “managing a terror organization", making person devoid of his freedom by using force, threat or trick and Causing any administrative or juridical sanctions except from jail for aggrieved by slandering him
Three Turks detained recently in Germany are not linked with Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, the Turkish foreign ministry says.
Turkey could begin training and equipping moderate Syrian opposition fighters before March
International conference hears call for more public transportation to beat congestion in Turkey's largest city
Istanbul Penal Court rules for the arrest of four people including Hidayet Karaca, chairman of the Samanyolu Media Group, and releases eight others, including Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper.
Government plans to allow companies involved in cancelled South Stream Pipeline project to begin feasibility studies anyway, to avoid having the government pay compensation