Reporters' safety group issues Somalia warning

May 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

LONDON, May 20 (UPI) -- Journalists and aid workers are among those considered most at risk of crime and kidnapping in Somalia, a reporters' safety monitoring group said.

The International News Safety Institute issued a travel advisory Monday for Somalia, describing it was "one of the most politically and economically unstable countries in the world."

The British government in early May hosted an international conference on Somalia. Participants said, despite political reforms, Somalia has a long road to stability ahead.

ISNI said efforts to improve political stability in Somalia have generally failed and conflicts between pro-government forces and al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate, are common.

"Although al-Shabaab was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, civil unrest and terrorism is common and insecurity is set to increase in the midterm," ISNI said in a statement. "While all foreigners are potential targets for crime, violence and kidnapping, journalists and aid workers are considered to be at most risk."

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told a London conference this week his country has made fundamental gains, though he was worried militant group al-Shabaab was on the brink of launching a new campaign.

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