No one was left in any doubt about the purpose of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s four-day trip to Britain last week. He wanted, he told a 9 March audience at the Karimia Institute, political, economic, humanitarian, military and security support. This included money, training and continued acknowledgement that he was the voice of religious moderation. To stabilise Somalia, he told an 8 March meeting at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), ‘The only way is to strengthen the government – everything needs strengthening’. To audiences packed with officials of many kinds, he proved adept at appealing to the diplomatic urge to find someone to engage with.
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