Asselborn: "Luxembourg is active in Somalia"
(ADW) "Somalia", the country on the Horn of Africa "is a prime example of a failed state", announced Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, at the Somalia Conference on Thursday held in London.
“The conference”, Asselborn told the Luxemburger Wort, "firstly shows that the international community wants to help the country and secondly, that the provisional institutions of the transitional government must be replaced with fixed structures." By August this year a draft constitution must be drawn up to organise elections and then to form a government.
Asselborn further pointed out that 22,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden each year. A UN mandate to combat piracy is therefore present in the region with NATO’s mission "Ocean Shield" and the EU with the mission “Atalanta”. Asselborn stated that Luxembourg supports the current use of four surveillance aircraft and under a current agreement, bears the cost for two of them until July 2012. The Government plans to extend the mission.
Fighting with social causes
The Foreign Minister stressed that the battle against piracy will not just be fought on water but also on land, especially in relation to economic and social issues.
Luxembourg also supports the cause on a humanitarian level with the international aid organisation Caritas. According to Asselborn, since 2006 Luxembourg has paid out 4.5 million euros in aid for Somalia and another 5.5 million euros for Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, and - recently - Southern Sudan.