Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres Briefings


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Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres

Recorded coverage of the press conference with Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres at the conclusion of the London Somalia Conference 2017, from Thursday 11 May.


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Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for coming along. I want to begin by

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thanking Secretary-General Gutierrez and the president. I want to learn

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what makes this London conference on Somalia different. Too often in my

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time as Foreign Secretary, I have attended conferences whose sole

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purpose has been to apply sticking plaster to a wound, even while that

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wound is still being inflicted. But what we have got in Somalia is

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different. Yes, it is true that after decades of turmoil, Somalia

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remains a wounded country. But it is in the process of being healed. And

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thanks to the leadership of the president and his colleagues, thanks

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to the courage and sacrifice of the forces and their Somali courses and

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to the help being given by the international community. The

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overriding aim of our work today is to accelerate the healing of the

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country and to lay the foundations for a peaceful and prosperous

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Somalia. That is why we have concluded a new security pact,

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recognising the essential truth that piece is the first requirement of

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any form of progress, particularly economic growth. The agreement

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between the federal government and the regional administrations on a

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national security model will give Somali forces clarity over command

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and control, making them more effective and in time, allowing them

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to take over in liberating areas from the terrorists of Al-Shabaab

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and providing security thereafter. And in return for these vital

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reforms being carried out by the Somalis, by the federal government

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and the state authorities, the international community will provide

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more help, particularly over the training of police and military

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forces. We will improve the coordination of our work. In the new

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partnership for Somalia, our Somali partners and the international

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community have undertaken to work together and to hold each other to

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account so that we deliver the support and reforms that Somalia

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will need over the next four years and as we prepare for our shared

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ambition of one person, one vote elections in 2021. Most importantly,

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everyone at this conference acknowledged the severity of the

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drought that Somalia is now enduring. At this moment Kerber over

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6 million Somalis need emergency food supplies and nobody can forget

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that the last time Somalia was blighted by famine in 2011, 260,000

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people died. If we act early and decisively, and that disaster can

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still be avoided. For this to happen, aid agencies must be free to

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go wherever necessary in safety and without hindrance to distribute food

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aid to all those in need. Britain is leading the way in responding to the

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humanitarian crisis in Somalia in providing food, water and medicine

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to over a million people. Together, we have come to this conference

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determined to speed up the healing of Somalia's wound, recognising the

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scale of the problems that remain, but determined to ensure that

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Somalia and the Somali people can achieve the peace and prosperity

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they deserve. I now hand over to President Farmajo. Good evening.

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Today, the government of Somalia set out our priorities and plans,

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together with our international partners who have committed to

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support us. We agreed on a security pact and a new partnership for

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Somalia in support of Somalia's national development plan, endorsing

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the national partnership for Somalia is a great step forward for Somalia.

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The national partnership for Somalia is a partnership based on the

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principle of mutual accountability between our governments and its

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international partners. A clear agreement on both our parts to work

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together on a set of shared goals to bring lasting peace, stability and

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prosperity to Somalia for the good of the Somali people. Our aim is to

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fulfil Somalia's vision, to achieve a stronger, more secure, more

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cooperative union that enhances equity and good governance for all

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Somalis. But that cannot be achieved without secure Somalia.

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You Today we have endorsed Somali-led and security pact with

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our partners, based on an agreed vision on Somali-led institutions

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and force that is are affordable, acceptable and accountable. It has

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come to a realisation that Somalia needs bold and courageous steps from

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our international partners. We need our partners to invest more directly

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in our priorities and our country system. As this will strengthen

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Government institutions and is critical for sustainability. Our

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Government has committed change, the way we manage our economy. To work

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together and work with a development of partners. We have committed to

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another kind of partnership which also moves us forward and enables us

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to grow a public-private partnership and my organisation will ensure a

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concrete, concrete and tangible steps are taken to improve the

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business environment. . Also, I'm pleased with the outcome of the

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events that took place during this conference on the contribution of

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the civil society to Somalia and recognise their collective role in

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supporting be stability and prosperity in Somalia. Great things

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are happening for Somalia and I'm so happy to be here, to witness it. My

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people have a promise that my fairly new organisation is here for them

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and their needs. Together we can achieve anything. Let's work

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together, Somalia, and her friends, to tackle the challenges that come

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our way. As I mentioned this morning, the expectations are very

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high but not performing is not an option. Thank you all for being

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here. I will now give the floor to the the excellent UN

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Secretary-General. I thank you. Thank you, very much, first of all

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to the Government of the United Kingdom, to Boris Johnson for having

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had the initiative of this conference and to the president of

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somal why for having created the political conditions that allowed it

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to happen. And this conference was an unmitigated success. This

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conference has created the conditions for an opportunity to

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materialise, a opportunity that we cannot miss. An opportunity to take

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Somalia out of decades of conflict, of poverty and of terrible suffering

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for the Somali people. An opportunity to defeat terrorism and

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to establish peace. An opportunity to allow for the build-up of

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national Somalian institutions and lay the foundations of a normal

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economic and social development process. And these opportunities are

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possible because we have, in Somalia, a plan for the Government

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and we have a strategy and plan that makes sense and is supported by the

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international opportunity. But now for the opportunity not to be

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missed, the international community needs to come together and to

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massively support Somalia. First of all, responding to the appeals to

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increase humanitarian aid to be able to face the dramatic challenges of

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food economy and disease in the country. Second, to fully support

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the Government in the build-up of institutions in particular, as it

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was mentioned by the Foreign Secretary, the national army and the

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national police force that need to be built in a co-ordinated way and

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end the strategy of the Somali Government. The interests of the

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international community is also to be able, in between, before the

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national Ince stewings are able to fully protect the Somali people, the

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international community must give strong and predictable financial and

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equipment support to our mission, to the mission of the African Union,

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that with enormous sacrifice and enormous courage, has been fighting

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Shah Babb in very dramatic circumstances, but creating the

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conditions that allow these conference and this opportunity to

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take place, our mission deserves a much stronger support than the much

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more predictable support from the international community and,

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finally, it is very important for us all to be able to support the new

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national development plan of Somali and to create the conditions for it

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to be possible through all the instruments of Development

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Corporation, including with the necessary technical mechanisms to be

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put in place and the guarantees of sustainability, including an

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effective process of debt relief. If the international community will be

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able to respond to the challenge, I'm sure this opportunity will not

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be missed and I'm sure that Somalia will be the success story we need in

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our troubled world. Hear, hear. Thank you very much, Antonio,

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Secretary-General, we will have a few questions now. Can I invite a

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question from representatives, first of all, of the Somali media. Yes,

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Universal? Until I miss my guess. My question, I will put in Somali

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language for the benefit of the audience back home.

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TRANSLATION: There is the third conference of London, this

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conference is different from the other conference.

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This one is special because there is the international community on in

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conference and there is full support from the international community

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that there was support the Somali attack. So if we work collectively

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with the international community, the outcome of this conference will

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be successful. We put a lot of emphasis on Somali's security pact.

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And we came up with this security pact and the objective together to

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defeat the terrorist groups and how we drive forward our community, also

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to build the Somali national army, then once the community are

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committed and they are with us to help us with both economy, Somali

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economic recover rain also to build Somalian national defence army. Also

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the national community knows that 40% of Somali's population is the

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youth, so we want to do all, take the actions so that our youth

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doesn't radicalise and go to Al-Shabab or illegal immigration.

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Thank you. I will have a go at answering that too. I think I

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understood the gist of the question. You are saying - what is the

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difference between this conversation and proceeding coverses on Somali. A

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perfectly fair question. There have been dozens since 2000. I think the

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real difference and why this London conference is potentially so

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important is that the president has come here today, representing not

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just the federal Government of Somalia, but also, he's brought with

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him, I think half a dozen presidents of the regional governments and they

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have put on a wonderful show of unity and of their determination to

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work together to deliver the security architecture. And I think

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that's the thing I would personally single out as being most important

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about this conference and what the international community wants to do

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now is to back that security architecture and the strong her and

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more robust it is, and we had some very powerful words today we heard,

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then the more the international community will be able to come in

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with support. So, we will be reviewing progress, obviously, in

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October, but that is the big development for me, because it is

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peace and the peace and security architecture that will be the

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bedrock of prosperity. I think we'll go now to a representative of the UK

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media and James Landale. The BBC? James Landale, BBC. First of all,

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can I ask about the arms embargo, Mr President, can you explain why you

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believe it is important that the arms embargo is lifted and Foreign

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Secretary, can you explain why the international community is so

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reluctant to do it. Foreign Secretary, can I ask you about the

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humanitarian need? The United Nations says there is a short fall

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of 900,000 dollars. What more will the British Government to do meet

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that need? I have covered many conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, I

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have been told about the importance of training up the army and police

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force. With respect, it is a slow, patchy gradual process at best. How

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can we be confident it is going to happen in time? Let me take that

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first question. Well, it is a very valid question. The reality is

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Al-Shabab has been active in Somalia for ten years and the reason we are

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looking to rebuild, to reorganisation our army is because

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of lack of equipment and weapons. Al-Shabab has AK-47 and the Somali

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national army, national forces has the same equipment, the same

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weapons. And that's why this war has been lingering for ten years and if

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we don't have more sophisticated and better weaponry, definitely this war

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will continue for another 10 years. That's why we would basically like

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to see the arms embargo to be lifted and of course that's why we need the

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international to help us in rebuilding Somali national army and

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that's why we wanted to face the challenge of al-Shah Babb. Because

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they are here in Somalia, they are in Somalia simply to destroy and

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deny the opportunity, Government to function.

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And to be part of the international community. So that's why we will

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require. Why we want to see the arms #e78 barring yo to be lifted. But we

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are not asking now that arms embargo to be lifted today but we are

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requiring to have a road map and then a milestone to see that maybe

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next year, in maybe in eight months after we meet all the requirements,

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that arms embargo to be lifted. I agree very strongly with the

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president that this is not the time to lift the arms embargo and we

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shouldn't be thinking of doing it that way around. The priority has

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got to be, as he rightly says, to get the forces to a condition

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working with the regional authorities where they are able to

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take on Al-Shabab and where they are able to engage their operations

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where it has done so heroically and bravely over the last ten years and

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that's what we are trying to achieve.

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Recorded coverage of the press conference with foreign secretary Boris Johnson and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres at the conclusion of the London Somalia Conference 2017, from Thursday 11 May.