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With talks over, UN envoy urges Somali parties to complete transition tasks on time

Special Representative Augustine Mahiga.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Special Representative Augustine Mahiga.

With talks over, UN envoy urges Somali parties to complete transition tasks on time

With a key meeting to resolve outstanding issues ahead of the end of Somalia’s current transitional period now over, the United Nations top political envoy to the country today called on all actors to ensure that the remaining tasks are completed in two weeks’ time.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), Augustine Mahiga, welcomed the consensus reached at the meeting of the Signatories of the Roadmap for Ending the Transition over the weekend, as well as the resulting communiqué while expressing concern at the time it took to resolve key issues.

“Time is pressing. The process cannot afford any more delays,” Mr. Mahiga said in an UNPOS news release. “Now that these discussions are done I urge all parties to focus all their energy on completing the remaining tasks on time, as they have publically committed to do.”

After decades of warfare, Somalia has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with the country’s Transitional Federal Institutions currently implementing the Roadmap for the End of Transition, devised last September.

The Roadmap spells out priority measures to be carried out before the current transitional governing arrangements end on 20 August.

The meeting of the signatories discussed six items: the consolidation and publication of the traditional elders list; the selection of the 275 members of parliament; the integrity and protection of the technical selection committee; the procedures for election by the parliament of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the President; and the current political situation in Galmaduga central region of the Horn of Africa country.

In the resulting communiqué, participants at the meeting reaffirmed the need and the determination to end the transition on 20 August, and issued “a stern warning to end the intimidation and corrupt practices that have emerged around the nomination of Parliamentary candidates,” according to UNPOS.

They also stressed the need for the Technical Selection Committee, assisted by international observers, to remain “independent, objective, and ethical in their work.” The issue around security and protection of the Technical Selection Committee was entrusted to UNPOS and the UN-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

In addition, Mr. Mahiga affirmed the importance of the work of the Technical Selection Committee and echoed the concern that they be protected.

“Since some of the signatories are now candidates, there is also a need to insulate and protect both the traditional elders and the technical selection committee from all new and incumbent political aspirants to allow them to complete this most critical task of vetting the names of the new parliamentarians,” he stated.