London Somalia Conference
London plays host today to an international conference about the future of Somalia. The country is one of the most high profile 'failed states' on the planet, and its government exercises little power or control. Somalia has been devastated by over twenty years of conflict and drought - which have lead to the deaths of hunderds of thousands (if not millions) of people. More than two million people's lives still hang in the balance as they remain in need of life-saving assistance.
The power vacuum left by the lack of a functioning government is filled by armed groups such as the al-Shabaab militia. And of course the country's coastline has become synonymous with pirate attacks on yachts and merchant vessels. The security situation It also makes it extremely difficult for aid and humanitarian agencies to work in the country, despite the presence of a sizeable African Union Peacekeeping Force there.
The Somali people are extremely resilient, but they've deserve an internationally agreed solution that puts their interests first. All eyes are on London today to see whether the conference delivers it...