IMF renews dialogue with Somalia
Reuters, Monday 24 Jun 2013
Fund fact-finding mission meets Somali authorities following IMF recognition of Somali government in April after 22-year break linked to unrest and political instability

The International Monetary Fund on Monday said it had renewed dialogue with Somalia after a 22-year break linked to unrest and political instability.

An IMF fact-finding mission met Somali authorities over the past week in Nairobi, the IMF said, following the Fund's recognition of the Somali government in April.

The two sides "held constructive discussions to explore ways in which the Fund can provide policy advice and technical assistance to Somalia," the global lender said in a statement.

"This important step will allow Fund staff to work with the Somali authorities to set up a mechanism under which international assistance can be prioritized and coordinated."

In April, the IMF took the first step in resuming relations with Somalia by formally recognizing the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, which took office in September 2012.

The IMF move had followed other support for the Somali government from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and a number of IMF member countries.

Somalia, one of the world's poorest countries, has been enmeshed in civil conflict and chronic fighting between warlords since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

The transitional government, backed by an African force, faces continued violence from the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab Islamist militant group.

The IMF said that Somalia faced significant economic challenges.

"Its economy has traditionally relied on fishing and agriculture. As it gradually emerges from a prolonged period of internal strife, few economic activities have survived, and much is needed to place it on the path to recovery," the IMF said.

The Washington-based institution hailed the authorities' commitment to work toward restoring peace and security, establishing good governance and the rule of law and rebuilding the economy.

"The IMF remains committed to the ongoing dialogue with the Somali Federal Government and discussions will continue in the weeks ahead."