France strongly condemns the attacks in the last few hours against both the African Union peacekeeping mission and Somali government institutions. These actions carried out by extremists are taking a heavy toll on the civilian populations.
We reaffirm our support for the African Union peacekeeping mission. We hail the remarkable, courageous work by the Burundian and Ugandan soldiers in Mogadishu. Their first mission is to protect the infrastructures that enable supplies to enter Mogadishu (the port and airport). This mission is crucial when it comes to giving southern and central Somalia access to humanitarian aid. Through the Atalanta naval operation, which originated with France, the European Union is protecting the transport of World Food Programme convoys to Somalia.
As Bernard Kouchner reiterated during the Istanbul conference on May 22, France reaffirms its full support for the Transitional Federal Government. Along with the entire international community, France—notably within the UN Security Council—stands shoulder to shoulder with the TFG and its president, Sheikh Sharif.
Furthermore, in a country where half the population is dependent on food aid, threats by terrorist groups against the WFP and international food aid can only aggravate a humanitarian situation that is already critical. It is essential to respect the work carried out on the ground by UN agencies and their staff, who are working each day to improve the conditions for the most impoverished populations.
Since 2006, France has allocated more than 15 million euros in food aid to Somalia and to Somali refugees in Kenya.
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