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Mogadishu lives again

(BRUSSELS) The capital of Somalia seems to be emerging from the dark years. In any case, this is the feeling of Alexander Rondos, the special representative of the European Union in the Horn of Africa. He recently testified to this before the press in Brussels and, above all, before the House of Lords in London, on June 21. “ Somalia is a very strange place, with a stateless economy” he assures. But today " Mogasdishu is bustling. For anyone who knows Somalia and East Africa, I can say that the colors are back, the markets are open. That's wonderful. » And the special representative continues: “The interesting test for me was when Somali businessmen decided to put back windows in front of their shops in Mogadishu. So I said to myself: “Either these guys are completely crazy, or they know something that we don't know. »

This is an established fact today. “The Somalis are getting their money back. The planes are full. They come back. They bring money that they try to invest. The houses are being rebuilt. There is even a shortage of workers in Garowe and Puntland. Because they all came to Mogasdishu because of the demand for work, houses… The only problem for Westerners: “We must always travel with body armor in an armored personal vehicle. I hope that soon I can do like everyone else. 

The opening of the delegation in Mogasdishu

The special representative also hopes soon « to plant the European flag in Mogasdishu, anticipating its presence in the Somali capital. " I insisted (and obtained) authorization from Member States to open an office in Somalia, as well as a modest budget. The delegation should thus always have two or three people permanently in Mogadishu. " We will then have eyes and ears, and I hope that we will then be able to discuss with the (power) in Somalia as well as to work with AMISOM and other (partners). »

Text of the hearing in the B2 docs

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).