UN envoy proposes setting benchmarks to move Somalia to next political phase

Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga

3 June 2011 – The United Nations envoy for Somalia has proposed the setting up of benchmarks and a monitoring mechanism to encourage the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI) to abide by obligations requiring them to prepare the country for a new political phase beyond August, when the current interim arrangement expires.

“I have flagged to the Security Council and I also wish to propose to this meeting that in order to secure compliance from the future TFIs on implementing transitional tasks we, together with the TFIs should agree on a set of implementable benchmarks, timelines, a monitoring mechanism and mutual obligations in achieving the transitional tasks,” said Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia.

“I agree with the proposal that in addition to a coordination and monitoring mechanism, we need a collective political undertaking in the region to ensure accountability of the TFIs to a regional political body,” said Mr. Mahiga in his opening remarks at the two-day 19th meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Somali in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, yesterday.

Political divisions between Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and interim Parliament have undermined the momentum of the country’s peace process.

The Parliament voted in February to extend its term for three years after the end of the transitional period, a move rejected by the TFG, which has instead proposed extending the interim period for one year, saying it wanted to try to enhance political stability and security.

A planned consultative meeting of Somalia’s leadership in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, later this month is expected to result in an agreement on a schedule for elections in the Horn of Africa country.

“I am requesting this ICG meeting to lend its full support to the position of the Security Council and to use the rare joint presence of the President and the Speaker [of parliament] at this meeting to muster their political will to arrive at an understanding to make the Mogadishu meeting a landmark success in the Somali peace process.

“It can be an opportunity to strike a win-win compromise between the executive, Parliament and above all, the Somali people,” said Mr. Mahiga.

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