UN: UN, int'l partners call for resolution of Somalia's political crisis

New York, US (PANA) - The UN and its international partners have voiced concern over delays
in resolving Somalia’s long-standing political crisis and in the implementation of a
stability-building mechanism as they called on the Horn of Africa nation’s President, Prime
Minister and Federal Parliament "to unite for the greater good of the country".

In a joint statement late Thursday, issued in New York by the UN, Intergovernmental Authority
on Development (IGAD), European Union, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the
US and United Kingdom, the partners urged the country to move swiftly towards the
implementation of "Vision 2006" through a new cabinet endorsed by parliament.

It warned that further delays could jeopardize the progress Somalia has made towards
building peace and security.

It stated: "September 2016 remains the constitutional deadline for conducting free and fair
elections, and all Somali institutions must focus on building consensus and act in the
national interest."

The statement came as Somalia struggles to emerge from a political crisis ignited when a
recent parliamentary vote of "no confidence" resulted in the political ouster of Somalia’s
former Prime Minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed.

The Somali Parliament dismissed Ahmed on 6 December due to reported disputes between him and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over political appointments.

Since then, the Parliament has confirmed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as the country’s
new Prime Minister but political uncertainty still remains.

Somalia had been plagued by political infighting and bursts of extremist violence as the
terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, continues to wage an insurgency. Just last month, in the city
of Baidoa, a terrorist attack left at least 15 people dead with many more wounded.

Meanwhile, Mr. Raisedon Zenenga, the UN’s newly-appointed Deputy Special Representative,
arrived on Thursday in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, to assume duties with UN
Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

Mr. Zenenga said: "I am very pleased to have this opportunity to return to Somalia and
support the aspirations of the people of Somalia for a peaceful, stable and prosperous future."

He said that, over the coming days he looked forward to meeting with officials from the
government as well as AMISOM and IGAD.

As part of UNSOM’s mandate, Mr. Zenenga will work in support of Somalia’s political priorities, human rights, rule of law and security institutions.

"The challenges are tremendous, but we must work together to push forward the progress
that the Somali people want to see," he added.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 23Jan2015

23 january 2015 05:16:13

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