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IMF restores relationship with Somalia despite persistent security issues

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After a 22-year break, the International Monetary Fund has finally recognized the government of Somalia.

The IMF stated, “The International Monetary Fund today recognised the federal government of Somalia, headed by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, paving the way for the resumption of relations after a 22-year interval.”

The IMF’s decision is “consistent with broad international support and recognition of the Federal Government.” Although the IMF can now provide technical support and policy advice, it will not lend money to Somalia until the 352 million dollar debt is cleared. Slowly, international donors have begun to re-associate with the Mogadishu government ever since the election of President Mohamud last year. The United States formally recognized Somalia in January, also recognizing the Somali government’s progress towards political stability and efforts to end the insurgency by Islamist militants.

While the Somali government is making great progress, it is still troubled by Islamist extremists. In fact, Somalia’s prime minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, has said that several foreign fighters participated in the most serious Islamic extremist attack on Mogadishu in years. He continued by saying that the presence of foreign fights made the attack international in nature and ordered for further investigation. Other officials have stated that the explosive devices were more advanced, indicating the possibility of greater involvement by the al-Qaida.

Just last year, Al-Qaeda announced a merger with al-Shabab but was troubled by internal tension between Somali fighters and foreign fighters. It is possible that the al-Qaeda is trying to assert itself in Somalia. Abdirashid Hashi, deputy director of the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, said that the attack shows that the al-Shabab can strike a damaging blow against the government at will. Sheikh Hassan Abdinur, the deputy attorney general, has said, “It was beyond my imagination. There is no safe place.”

Due to the recent attacks, Dahir Amin Jesow, who heads a security committee in parliament, has said that the death toll, currently at 35, may rise because of the number wounded.

One nurse at Madina Hospital said, “There are so many horrific wounds in the hospital, so there’s no time for rest for us.”

The victims will be honored with a state funeral.

Shirdon has said, “We are concerned about the foreign involvement in this attack and this is why we are working so hard with our international partners on security and intelligence sharing. Once again we see that terrorism is an international problem.”

The attacks will force the government to reassess its priorities and provide more security for its citizens. Already the citizens of Somalia are unsettled by the government slow action.

Nurto Adbi, a mother of a child who was seriously injured said, “The so-called national army always gives them the chance. They must declare it publicly if they cannot protect us, because even civilians are legitimate targets now.”

The U.N. Security Council followed up the Somali government by stating that they “underline their willingness to take action against those whose behavior threatens the peace, stability or security of Somalia.”

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