The three-day Istanbul Conference on Somalia concluded with “important concrete proposals,” United Nations top envoy to the African nation Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said. The Istanbul Declaration issued at the end of the conference underscored the importance of improving the implementation of the Djibouti Agreement. It also highlighted the contribution of the U.N. mission to Somalia, Intergovernmental Authority of Development, League of Arab States and Islamic Development Bank in assisting Somalia. Meanwhile, the chief executive of Dahabshiil, the largest international remittance firm in the Horn of Africa, urged the international community to help boost the Somali private sector. Somalia’s private sector is still facing “enormous challenges” due to political instability and security issues, Abdirashid Duale said during the Istanbul conference, which ran from May 21 to 23.
Armed conflict between Islamist al Shabaab rebels and Somali troops in Mogadishu has killed at least 20 and injured 30 last week, Elman rights group and medical officers said. Government troops and African Union peacekeepers have been trying to prevent al Shabaab insurgents from advancing to the presidential palace, Reuters reports.