Top of the Morning: Wave of Attacks in Iraq; Big London Conference on Somalia Kicks Off

Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest.

Yet Another Wave of Attacks in Iraq

Over 50 people were killed in a series of coordinated car bomb attacks in Iraq. This kind of widespread, coordinated mayhem seems to be the emerging M.O. of militants determined to undermining the fragile Iraqi government. “The worst of the violence was concentrated in Iraq’s capital, where more than two dozen people were killed in explosions and fusillades of gunfire that transformed the morning commute into a landscape of carnage. Although civilians suffered the worst casualties, most of the attacks were aimed at police officers, security convoys and other signposts of government authority. Bombs exploded outside a police station, a court, a political office and a local council building. Several assailants targeted the roadside checkpoints where police officers and soldiers check drivers’ identification cards and sometimes search cars. The ubiquitous checkpoints, decorated by security forces with fabric flowers and emblems of religious pride, are an almost daily target of violence.” (NYT

Big Somalia Summit Kicks off in London

Dozens of world leaders, including David Cameron, Ban Ki Moon and Hillary Clinton are meeting in London today for a major conference on the future of Somalia. Piracy, the fight against Al Shabaab and the food crisis are all on the agenda. In a blog post published to the website of the British Foreign ministry, the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Washington, Phillip Barton, explains: “For the first time in years, there is a real chance to make progress in Somalia. Al Shabaab is militarily weakened and increasingly on the back foot, pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union forces. A fragile peace process is making progress. And there is growing international will to stamp out piracy. The goals of the Conference are wide-reaching, but also practical and implementable. We are focusing on both the underlying causes of instability and its symptoms, such as famine, piracy and terrorism. Our hope is to reach agreement on: injecting new momentum into a political process that will create a more transparent and representative government that is better able to provide development and security for its people; strengthening the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia; building stability at the local level through humanitarian aid and economic development; and tackling the piracy and terrorism that threatens to destabilise the Horn of Africa.” (UK Foreign Office