South Africa has called for peace in Somalia by encouraging all parties, especially al Shabaab Islamist militants, to put down arms and join the international peace process.
The South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane met with the Somali counterpart Abdullahi Haji Hassan Mohamed in Pretoria today.
Since the government collapsed in 1991 up to one million people is estimated by the Red Cross to have lost their life due to famine, fighting and diseases.
Pretoria has expressed concern about the situation, upon which the two ministers have signed an agreement on diplomatic relations. Nkoana-Mashabane announced that the agreement opens up for closer work with the Somali role players in order to reach lasting peace.
South Africa also announced that R100 million will be donated to key governance sectors.
For the past five years a weak transitional federal government has fought the al Shabaab Islamist militants, which has aligned itself with al Qaeda. The government is now trying to enact a constitution and hold elections by 20 August.
Nkoana-Mashabane has announced that South Africa will support the constitutional process.