Creating new perspectives since 2009

UK FM in a ‘surprise’ visit to Somalia

March 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in Moghadishu, Somalia on 16 February 2017 [Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu]

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson today landed in Somalia on what is being described as a “surprise visit”.

He has met President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, pledging aid to help combat the effects of a devastating drought, state radio reported earlier today.

“Boris met Somalia’s President Mohamed and discussed strengthening ties with Somalia, doubling the support for Somali government, and aid assistance for the drought in Somalia,” the website for state-run Radio Mogadishu said.

Earlier this month, famine was officially declared in Somalia, in what has been described as “the largest humanitarian crisis since the start of the UN” by UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien.

Within the first 48 hours of the famine, over 100 people had died of malnutrition and diarrhoea.

The country has been mired in civil war for more than a quarter of a century, and this year around 6.2 million Somalis, around half the population, are in need of aid after the drought withered crops, killed livestock and dried waterholes in East Africa.