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[Dehai-WN] un.org: Somalia has best chance in decades to end conflict, Security Council told

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 01:22:10 +0100

Somalia has best chance in decades to end conflict, Security Council told

5 March 2012 -

Somalia currently has the best opportunity to end its two decades-long
conflict and bring lasting peace and stability to the country, but doing so
will require a greater efforts by all parties and sustained support from
international partners, the Security Council heard today.

The country's Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) are in the process of
implementing a roadmap devised in September last year that spells out
priority measures to be carried out before the current transitional
governing arrangements end on 20 August.

Before then, Somalia needs a new constitution, a smaller and more
representative Parliament and elections for the positions of President,
Speaker and Deputies.

"Ending the transition on time will require more efforts and support from
all international actors in the coming months," Augustine P. Mahiga, the
Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, told the Council via
video-link from the country. "We must ensure that all of us are pulling
together in this regard."

He pointed out that the drafting of the constitution has to be completed by
the end of this month. The selection process to the 1,000-member Constituent
Assembly from over eight community-based constituencies, including women,
must be completed in eight weeks for the provisional adoption of the
constitution by the end of April.

"We do not have the luxury of time," said Mr. Mahiga, who heads the UN
Political Office for Somalia ( <http://unpos.unmissions.org/> UNPOS). "We
are faced with a situation that demands urgent action. The TFG remains the
international community's main Somali interlocutor. Building their capacity
would be critical to transforming the country into a functioning State."

Today's meeting, chaired by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Henry
Bellingham of the United Kingdom, which holds this month's rotating
presidency of the Council, follows the 23 February London Conference on

It also follows the extension by the Council of the mandate of the African
Union peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM) through 31 October and its call
for an almost 50 per cent increase in the 12,000-strong force to deal with
continued insecurity in the impoverished country.

"This is a critical moment for Somalia," <http://www.un.org/sg/>
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his
69> remarks to the Council.

He noted that the London conference reiterated the commitment of the
international community to strongly support the establishment of the new
institutions that would lead to ending the transition, to provide support to
AMISOM that would allow it to sustain the political process, and to provide
sustained international support for recovery and development.

"A new window of opportunity for peace and stability has opened," stated the
Secretary-General, reiterating his message to the London conference. "But it
is a narrow window. All stake-holders must act with urgency and unity of
purpose. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity."

In a presidential statement read out at today's meeting, the Council
emphasized the need to build on agreement in London and "continue to pursue
a comprehensive strategy for the establishment of peace and stability in
Somalia through the collaborative effort of all stakeholders."

It also voiced its grave concern about the threat posed to Somalia and the
international community by terrorist attacks by Somali armed opposition
groups, in particular Al-Shabaab, and welcomes the commitment made at the
London conference for renewed international action to address this threat.


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Received on Mon Mar 05 2012 - 19:22:19 EST
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