Friday, September 17, 2010

Somalia's "To Do" List

With less than two years to go before the end of the transition period in Somalia, a top U.N. official this week stressed the need to consolidate the fragile peace process, which has witnessed numerous recent attacks and an ongoing humanitarian crisis.   Current peace and reconciliation efforts in Somalia are based on the 2008 Djibouti Peace Agreement, under which former adversaries are participating in an internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG)

“Concerted regional and international support and assistance are required at this very critical stage of the peace process if the TFG is to play the role envisaged by the Djibouti Agreement,” Augustine P. Mahiga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, told the U.N. Security Council.  He noted that several tasks are to be accomplished before the end of the transition in August 2011. These include continuing the initiatives on reconciliation, building civilian and security institutions and the completion of the constitution-making process.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report on Somalia, called on the war-torn nation’s transitional authorities to end internal squabbles that are hampering key tasks.  “As Somalia’s transition period approaches its end, I am concerned that the transitional agenda remains largely unfulfilled,” Mr. Ban wrote. “Unity within the Transitional Federal Institutions remains critical for confidence-building among Somalis and the international community. Now is the time for the Transitional Federal Institutions to show determination to complete the transitional tasks.”

Violence in the capital, Mogadishu, alone has led to some 3,000 conflict-related casualties so far this year and uprooted around 200,000 people from the city, which has been the scene of ongoing clashes between Government troops and Islamist militant groups, including Al-Shabaab.  Recent weeks have witnessed increasing attacks on civilians and against the over 5,000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), resulting in a number of deaths and injuries. The country is also beset by a dire humanitarian crisis with 3.2 million people, more than 40 per cent of the population in need of aid – 1.4 million of them internally displaced persons (IDPs).

(adapted from a UN Press Release)

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