Somalia: UN envoy welcomes deal ending political stalemate

Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga

9 June 2011 – The United Nations envoy for Somalia today welcomed the agreement reached to extend the terms of the country’s President and the Speaker of Parliament for another year as a breakthrough in ending the political impasse over the current transition period.

Under the agreement, known as the Kampala Accord for the Ugandan capital in which it was signed, the terms of the presidency and the Parliament have been extended by one year, while a new prime minister should be appointed within the next 30 days.

The interim federal institutions had been divided over governance issues beyond August, when the transitional period expires in the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation – which has not had a fully functioning national government and has been wracked by factional warfare since 1991.

In February, Parliament voted to extend its term for three years after the end of the transition, a move rejected by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which has instead proposed extending the interim period for one year, saying it wanted to try to enhance political stability and security.

With the new agreement, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden pledged to work together during the interim period of one year to implement priority tasks, in accordance with a road map to be agreed with timelines and benchmarks.

“I am delighted that we have managed to overcome the deadlock in such a constructive way,” said Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, who facilitated the agreement.

“The leaders worked together in a positive manner to come up with this important political breakthrough,” he added.

The priority tasks that need to be tackled include the finalization and adoption of a new constitution, reforming institutions, enhancing security and preparing for elections.

The details of the road map will be worked out in the coming weeks and discussed at a conference that will be convened by the TFG and the Transitional Federal Parliament and facilitated by the Special Representative.

“The key to making this meeting a landmark success is ensuring that it is fully inclusive,” said Mr. Mahiga. “The Somali leadership now needs to focus on implementing reforms, continuing to restore peace and security to Somalia, and on accomplishing the tasks required to complete the transition.”

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