The Great Debate UK

from Africa News blog:

Why is the world ignoring Somalia?

somaliaI’m blogging from the African Union’s annual summit in Addis Ababa and can see the Somali delegation from where I’m sitting. They’re mingling right now, cups of coffee and croissants in hand, pressing the flesh and smiling and joking with leaders and ministers from all over the continent and beyond. Delegates are responding warmly to the men who represent a government hemmed into only a few streets of the capital Mogadishu as they fight an increasingly vicious Islamist rebellion.

But you get the sense the other delegates are responding so warmly to compensate for something: The fact that the Somalis are here looking for help and nobody is really willing to stick their neck out and give it to them.

Somalia’s strife -- as well as the conflicts in Sudan and DR Congo -- have dominated the agenda at these summits for years now. But there’s something different about this year. The African delegates seem confused - really genuinely confused - about why the international community is dragging its heels.

When Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero -- a guest at the summit -- stood up on the opening day he made some of the most dramatic remarks any world leader has made on the Horn of Africa country.