The top United Nations political official for Somalia today welcomed the signing of a communiqué agreed on by Somali leaders as a key step in preparing the East African country for the upcoming end of its transitional governing arrangement.
“I am most gratified that the signatories have come together in the spirit of cooperation and compromise and have collectively committed to move the process forward,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), Augustine Mahiga, said in a statement.
“The transitional period will end in less than 60 days and we have no time to lose,” he added.
After decades of warfare, Somalia has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with the country’s Transitional Federal Institutions currently implementing the so-called Roadmap for the End of Transition in Somalia, devised in September last year, that spells out priority measures to be carried out before the current transitional governing arrangements end on 20 August.
The Joint Communiqué of the Consultative Meeting of the Signatories of the Process for Ending the Transition was agreed on by all signatories to the roadmap on Friday afternoon in Nairobi, Kenya, and includes an official draft constitution.
Those signing included President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of the Transitional Federal Government; Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament; Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali; President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Farole’ of Puntland; President Mohamed Ahmed Alin of Galmudug; and, representatives of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a.
The meeting was convened to discuss a number of outstanding issues and to finalize agreements reached at a meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 21-23 May, at which the Somali leaders had agreed to set up a National Constituent Assembly (NCA), which would adopt the East African nation’s new constitution in line with the roadmap.
At the Nairobi meeting, the signatories agreed on an official draft constitution, which will now be made public. President Sheikh Sharif also signed a decree establishing a legal framework to conclude the constitution-making process through provisional adoption of the constitution by the NCA.
In addition, the signatories reached agreement on protocols providing for the establishment of a number of important committees to facilitate the end of the transitional period.
The NCA will convene in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, from 12-20 July, and will conclude its deliberations by voting on the draft constitution for provisional adoption, prior to eventual approval by the Somali people through a direct referendum.
“It is time for us to help move the process from selection to election,” Mr. Mahiga said.