Former President Jerry John Rawlings, theAfrican Union’s (AU) High Representative for Somalia, has appealed to the international community to come to the aid of the as they face the world’s worst famine in decades.
Speaking to the press following talks with President Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Sharif in Mogadishu, Somalia, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and Speaker of Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, President Rawlings said he was in Somalia to see for himself the humanitarian situation in Mogadishu with a view to briefing Heads of State on the continent and across the world.
A statement issued by the former President’s Office expressed solidarity with the people of Somalia saying: “We face an imminent difficulty that will cost too many lives.”
He appealed to the international community to “demonstrate compassion for Somalia” adding that its people should not be viewed through the prism of the country’s long conflict.
“Prejudice or fatigue on account of the last 20 years would only serve as deterrent or impediment to the delivery of help. We must instead see the millions of men, women and children who are the innocent victims of this situation,” he said.
He expressed his conviction that the world would not abandon Somalia in this time of need.
President Rawlings also commended Somali factions who had hitherto blocked humanitarian aid to their areas of control for opening up those areas for aid and supplies.
He thanked Middle East countries, such as Qatar, as well as Sudan for the aid they had already sent to Somalia.
On the country’s peace process, he said that it was crucial to continue supporting the government as it strives to develop a roadmap to the end of the transition and the holding of national elections.
He promised to return to the country as often as he could. “You’re not seeing the last of me,” he said.