[dehai-news] Eastafro.com: SENATOR FEINGOLD, IN DJIBOUTI, CALLS FOR NEW STRATEGY FOR SOMALIA AND THE HORN


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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Dec 24 2008 - 05:55:43 EST


SENATOR FEINGOLD, IN DJIBOUTI, CALLS FOR NEW STRATEGY FOR SOMALIA AND THE
HORN

Dec 22nd, 2008 . <http://www.EastAFRO.com/Post/category/news/> News

Saturday, December 20, 2008

 http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/10/10/feingold/story.jpg

Djibouti - Today, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) called for a new
strategy to address instability, terrorism and the humanitarian crisis in
Somalia and the Horn of Africa while visiting Djibouti, which is hosting the
Somalia peace process. Feingold, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign
Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, met with the President and
Foreign Minister of Djibouti, the Prime Minister of the Somali Transitional
Federal Government (TFG), the leadership of the opposition Alliance for the
Re-Liberation of Somalia, the United Nations Special Representative for
Somalia, the President of Somaliland, and members of Somalia's civil
society. He also visited the U.S. base in Djibouti, home to the military's
Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa.

"There is both an urgent need and an opportunity for a new U.S. policy for
Somalia and the Horn of Africa," Feingold said. "With the security and
humanitarian crisis deepening, the expansion of the Shebab terrorist group,
the announced withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia, and a fragile
peace process, it is critical that the incoming Obama Administration take
immediate steps to develop a new, comprehensive strategy for Somalia and the
region. Disjointed policies in Somalia have often undermined one another,
ultimately proving counterproductive. Moving forward, we must address
direct threats at the same time that we confront the ongoing humanitarian
and human rights crisis, supporting legitimate governance institutions,
promote accountability and rule of law and work to undercut the appeal of
violent extremism. The current situation is not just a disaster for the
people of Somalia and the region. It is a direct threat to America's
national security."

 

Feingold has led efforts in the Senate to focus on this critical region of
the world. He authorized legislation, passed by Congress, requiring the
administration to develop a comprehensive stabilization and reconstruction
strategy for Somalia and has consistently called on the international
community to commit the necessary resources and attention to stabilize
Somalia and rebuild its institutions. Recently, insurgent militias in
Somalia have overtaken several strategic towns as they march toward the
capital city of Mogadishu. They now control territory throughout southern
and central Somalia. Ethiopian troops supporting the TFG have announced
plans to withdraw at the end of the year, which could lead to a power
vacuum. Feingold has stated that instability in the country has enabled the
recent rise in pirate attacks off the Somali coast.

 

On March 11, 2008, Feingold chaired a full Foreign Relations Committee
hearing on U.S. policy options for the Horn of Africa. The New York Times
has labeled Feingold "the Senate's leading expert on Somalia." This is his
ninth official visit to Africa. He last visited the continent in August
2007 when he traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. He is
on a three-country tour that includes Germany, the headquarters of the
Department of Defense's Africa Command, and Tanzania.

 


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