New York, US (PANA) - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Mr. Augustine Mahiga, has called on the international community to boost their efforts to help Somalia through its peace and national reconciliation process.
He said Somalia was entering its most critical stage, as the end of its transitional governing
period approaches in August.
''As Somalia faces the greatest opportunity to end the transition, after so much investment by the international community and well-wishing Somalis, we must complete the tasks at hand,” Mahiga told the UN Security Council in New York Tuesday.
''We must provide timely logistical and financial support to enable us to complete the implementation of the roadmap before August this year, as well as strengthen international cooperation and coordination,'' he said.
Mr. Mahiga said there are many challenges for the roadmap’s implementation to be completed, citing a lack of time and unavailability of resources as two factors that could have a negative effect in the next months.
He said the lack of funding for implementing the roadmap in the remaining three months is of serious concern to all, including the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), adding: ''The Constituent Assembly is almost grinding to a halt for lack of funding.''
The UN envoy also warned that spoilers pose a real threat to the peace process as they are employing various methods to obstruct and reverse gains made in the implementation of the roadmap.
''We must deal with these elements before they succeed in undermining the peace process,'' he said.
Mahiga said in the remaining months before the end of the transition, it is necessary to intensify public and civic education on the peace process, and noted that the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) is producing television, radio, print and online material targeting civil society groups which will be part of the National Constituent Assembly.
PANA learnt that the 1,000-member body, as well as the new parliament, will be selected by the group of Traditional Elders, who represent the full spectrum of Somali society.
The Assembly is tasked with drafting a new constitution.
Meanwhile, the Special Representative has said Turkey will host a conference on Somalia in Istanbul next month, and that the meeting will help define elements of the African country’s post-August strategy.
In a statement issued after the briefing, UN Security Council members welcomed the progress made so far in the implementation of the roadmap and reaffirmed their commitment to support the process.
Until last year, most of Mogadishu was, for several years, riven by a fluid frontline dividing the two sides – fighters belonging to the Al Shabaab movement and troops belonging to the TFG, with the latter supported by the peacekeeping forces of the UN-backed AMISOM.
Since the Al Shabaab withdrawal from the capital’s central parts in August, the frontlines were pushed back to the city’s surrounding area.
However, the use of roadside bombs, grenades and suicide bombers is still a regular occurrence, and outbreaks of fighting still take place.
PANA reports that Somalis 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.
Earlier this month, UNPOS, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) issued a warning to all potential spoilers against jeopardizing the road map.
They warned that sanctions and restrictions could be imposed on individuals and groups who seek to obstruct the peace process.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 16May2012