UN envoy stresses urgency of appointing new Premier to maintain Somalia’s progress

2 December 2013

The United Nations envoy in Somalia today highlighted the urgency of appointing a new Prime Minister as soon as possible to maintain the progress made so far in the Horn of Africa nation, after incumbent Abdi Farah Shirdon lost a confidence vote in parliament.

Somalia’s President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, now has 30 days to appoint a successor to Mr. Shirdon, who was in office for just over a year.

“I hope the President will consult widely before choosing. It is in all our interests that the next PM and Government is broadly inclusive, able to unite the country and capable of delivering what Somalia needs – peace, rule of law, economic growth and good public services,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay.

Mr. Kay paid tribute to the outgoing Prime Minister, and noted that his departure was managed in accordance with the provisional constitution and the rules of procedure of the Federal Parliament.

“Somalia’s institutions are coming of age. The UN is here to support their development, and looks forward to working constructively with the new administration,” he stated in a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), which he heads.

The envoy also urged the Federal Parliament to make progress on the many law-making and other constitutional tasks that the country urgently needs.

“Over the coming years, it is important that Parliament, Government and the Presidency continue to work constructively together in full respect for the Provisional Federal Constitution.”

Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year, new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government.

UNSOM was established by the Security Council in June to support the Government and the people of the country in their quest for security and prosperity.

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Somalia: UN envoy welcomes Parliament’s endorsement of new Prime Minister

The United Nations top political official for Somalia today welcomed the endorsement by the East African country’s Parliament of the new Prime Minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, stressing that it signals an encouraging start of cooperation between two important arms of the Government.