Global perspective Human stories

Somalia: UN envoy congratulates Government leaders on one-year anniversary


Somalia: UN envoy congratulates Government leaders on one-year anniversary

The top United Nations envoy to Somalia today praised the “strong” and “united” leadership of the strife-torn country’s Government during its first year in power, in a message appealing to outside forces to end their destabilizing interference in the Horn of Africa nation.

President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) marked a year in office at the end of January, and Prime Minister Omar Abidirashid Ali Sharmarke celebrated his anniversary in the post yesterday.

“Over the last year, both leaders as well as the Speaker, Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur [Madobe], have demonstrated to their people and to the region a strong and united leadership in addressing their nation’s many problems,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah.

“The success of their resilience and their strength is also that of the Cabinet, the Parliament and the security forces,” added Mr. Ould-Abdallah.

Despite enormous difficulties, including security threats, a lack of regular payments and political inexperience among others, Somalia’s leadership has stuck together and reached out to their political opponents, he noted, adding that civil society and the business community have also shown “true patriotism” during this period.

Among its achievements the national authorities have proposed a national budget, rehabilitated a number of institutions and infrastructure, negotiated with political opponents and kept the door open to all Somalis who favour dialogue over violence, said the UN official, who extended his praise to the leadership in Puntland and Somaliland.

“I also call on foreign Governments to refrain from meddling in Somali affairs,” he said. “Today, external political interference perpetuates instability and encourages illegal fishing, as well as piracy and other criminal economic activities.”

In February the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that nearly 20,000 people were driven from their homes in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, by renewed fighting between Government forces and opposition groups.