Somalia seeks help making itself stronger
Updated: 2011-12-26 09:40
By Li Lianxing (China Daily)
BEIJING - China's escort mission in the Gulf of Aden has positively "hacked" at piracy and has "contributed a lot to regional stability", says Somalia's ambassador to Beijing.
Now more international efforts are needed to build peace and stability in Somalia so it can eliminate the piracy that started inland in his country, Yusuf Hassan Ibrahim told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
China and Somalia enjoy a long, historic friendship and shared great achievements, he said.
In three years, Chinese warships have escorted more than 4,300 commercial vessels from China and other countries through the pirate-plagued waters of the Gulf of Aden. Yan Dong / for China Daily
"It was a pity that some economic cooperation was stopped due to the outbreak of the civil war in the 1990s. Now we have great potential in resuming and expanding the relationship. Safe passage at sea could greatly enhance the ties," he said, and could give Somalia more opportunities to resume its economy.
The ambassador said Somalia itself has benefited little from the three years of escort missions, given the turbulence at home. "It is only the countries these ships belong to that benefit from the escort mission. Somalia is fighting piracy for its reputation and international responsibility."
But his government is weak, he said.
"Since the collapse of the government 20 years ago, Somalia is incapable of fighting piracy. Then it is the responsibility of other countries to help the weaker ones, to stop piracy in this particular case."