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Canada - Somalia Relations

The election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on September 10th, 2012 by the new Somali Parliament marked the transition to a new Somali Government.  The mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), in place since 2004, ended on August 20th 2012.  The formation of a new, more representative and accountable government is a critical step toward rebuilding Somalia after over 20 years of violent conflict. 

Canada has not had an Ambassador accredited to Somalia since 1990, but maintained a working relationship with the TFG through the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya.  Canada looks forward to strengthening its diplomatic relations with the new Government of Somalia.

Canada remains concerned by the fragile humanitarian and security situation in Somalia.  We support regional efforts to create a more stable and secure environment to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the millions of people affected by drought and conflict in eastern Africa.  Canada calls on all parties in Somalia to work toward achieving lasting peace, security and reconciliation.  Canada also urges all parties in Somalia to protect civilians and ensure full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian workers to all people in need.

Canada has worked with the international community in efforts to stabilize the country through support to the political process, security and humanitarian relief. Canada participates in the International Contact Group on Somalia, which brings together countries at the forefront of efforts to support stabilization. In September 2011, Canada announced a $1 million contribution to the AMISOM Trust Fund to assist in its efforts to stabilize the security situation and secure humanitarian space for the delivery of aid.  At the London Conference on Somalia in February 2012, Minister Baird announced Canada’s $10 million contribution to a Ugandan Formed Police Unit for deployment to AMISOM. Canada’s payment of assessed contributions to the UN supports the UN’s work in Somalia.    In June 2012, Canada introduced regulations to enforce the ban on the import of Somali charcoal called for in UNSC Resolution 2036 (2012).

 Since December 2010, Canada has provided $135 million, including $37.75 million in 2013, to support the humanitarian operations of UN agencies and non-government organizations working in Somalia or supporting Somali refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Canada’s humanitarian assistance provides life-saving relief, including food, water and sanitation, medical and nutritional support, shelter, and protection, to crisis-affected populations. 

Canada is committed to the international community’s efforts to prevent and suppress acts of piracy off the coast of Eastern Africa.  Canada’s counter-piracy objective is to foster a secure maritime environment that will ensure unhindered trade and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Canada has contributed to NATO's counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Eastern Africa and deployed three frigates to the Horn of Africa between 2008 and 2010. At the UN, Canada actively participates in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.  Recognizing the importance of regional capacity-building, Canada has also provided financial support for regional capacity building efforts through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  

Through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, Canada has also supported local projects on good governance, democratic development and human rights.  Canada does not have a bilateral development cooperation program in Somalia. 

Canada hosts one of the largest Somali diaspora communities in the world – as many as 170,000 strong – and it is the most prominent diaspora group from Africa in Canada.  Many Somali-Canadians have strong links to Somalia and some occupy senior positions in federal and regional governments in Somalia.

Canada has very minimal trade relations with Somalia due to the lack of state government and continuing conflict and high costs of doing business.  In 2012, two-way merchandise trade stood at $405 000. Canada’s top exports to Somalia in 2012 consisted of machinery and vehicles. Canada’s imports from Somalia in 2012 totalled $61 000 and consisted of steel products.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel in Somalia. There is no resident Canadian government office in Somalia, and the Government of Canada cannot provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens in distress in Somalia.

September 2013                                                         

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