In an effort to propagate the Djibouti accord and seek advice, UN special representative to Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah paid visit to Minnesota where majority of the Somalis in the US resides. In part, the purpose of the visit was explained to be an outreach effort to the Somalis in the diaspora.
Organizers told Hiiraan Online that this conference was inclusive, bipartisan and open to the public.
Mr. Abdallah started his speech with a disclaimer arguing what he was going to say was just his “personal experience … opinion as Muslim and African”. Also, Ambassador Ahmedou stated that he was there to seek advice on how to best pursue peace in Somalia from the Somalis in the Diaspora.
Ahmedou’s remarks seemed to focus on alleviating the suffering of the Somalis by finding resources and political settlements between the opposing groups. Speaking of badly needed resources, Ambassador Ahmedou talked about how the people of Somalia could benefit from relocating the UN staff in Nairobi to Somalia. He argued that even though these individual are collecting salaries to help Somalis they don’t live in Somalia and don’t rent, buy or pay Somalis.
Representative Ahmedou ask the Somalis in Diaspora to united and work hard to attract the bigger countries like the United States to bring stabilities to their homeland. He said “Somalis has to take leading role in efforts to bring solution to their long lasting conflict … you must work with your elected officials about bring peace to Somalia” he added
Additionally, he said “Somalis in the diaspora must protect their country’s name, Somalia, work hard and organize to succeed life in their adopted country, and be positive partners in the peace process back home.”
As a lot of countries where not forthcoming to provide troops, representative Ahmedou said “why would countries send their troops to die for you? … simply many countries are not ready to risk sending troops to Somalia.”
Speaking about his plans or next steps, Ambassador Ahmed stated “I plan to ask US, EU, and Arab countries a financial help by the end of this year”. He also mentioned to have planed to ask again the UN to relocate its staff to Somalia.
From the reactions of the participants and audience of the event, it seems as though the Djabouti agreement provided some hope and awaiting to see how the international community keeps its part of the bargain.