Turkish PM visits Mogadishu

Erdogan becomes first non-African leader to visit Somali capital in nearly 20 years

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is touring Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Friday. It is the first time a non-African leader has visited the Somali capital in nearly two decades. Erdogan is also scheduled to tour a camp for people displaced by violence and drought in the Horn of Africa country. More than 100,000 people have flocked to the capital as an estimated 12 million people in the region face starvation. Al Jazeera reports Erdogan hs said he’s there to help a fellow Muslim country. On Wednesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation met in Istanbul and pledged to donate $350 million in assistance to Somalia. Mogadishu has long been a hotbed of violence between the Western-backed government and al-Shabaab, a radical Islamic group with purported links to al Qaeda. Earlier this month, al-Shabaab militants withdrew from the capital in what they called a tactical move. The group has blocked humanitarian aid from being delivered to displaced people hit by the country’s famine. The U.N. World Food Program says it is still unable to deliver assistance to 2.2 million people in southern Somalia.

Al Jazeera English

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