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AU Special Envoy to Somalia Appeals for International Support

Former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings who is now African Union Special Envoy to Somalia visited the drought ravaged country today. After meeting with President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed at the Presidential Palace appealed to the international community to support the victims of what he described as a "near famine situation".

Special Envoy Rawlings appealed first and foremost to African leaders and businesses to aid the multitude of people in need, encouraging others to offer support as quickly as possible. Rawlings stated that the situation is deteriorating quickly and “We face an imminent difficulty that is going to claim too many lives.”

Rawlings stressed that other African governments and international organizations need to see beyond Somalia’s reputation as simply a place of violence between rebel groups. He suggests that these prejudices should not impede or deter countries from giving support in this dire situation.

During his appeal, Rawlings also offered thanks to Al-Shabab “for providing a safe pathway through which the aid could be delivered to the most needy.”

By offering support to the millions of victims of the drought, Rawlings states that donors will demonstrate their “respect [for] the dignity of humanity.”