21 November 2011 The United Nations envoy for Somalia today emphasized the importance of the roadmap adopted in September setting out a series of tasks to be completed ahead of concluding the country’s political transition process, and called for coordinated international efforts to ensure the implementation of the plan.
“It is critical that the entire donor community understand the centrality of the roadmap to the political process and support its implementation with the necessary resources,” said Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, writing in the regional weekly, The EastAfrican.
The roadmap spells out priority measures to be implemented before the current transitional governing arrangements end next August, in the areas of security, the drafting of a new constitution, reconciliation and laying the foundation for good governance.
Mr. Mahiga stressed that Somali leaders must be made to understand that future assistance will depend on their willingness to play their role in the implementation of the roadmap.
The political developments in Somalia are underpinned by a major improvement of security, especially since August, when the insurgents of Al Shabaab were forced to withdraw from the capital, Mogadishu, under pressure from forces supporting the transitional Government and the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Mr. Mahiga wrote.
“This is a remarkable achievement and has led to roads being repaired, homes rebuilt and markets reopening. If Somalia – and indeed the international community – is to capitalize on these gains, and at the same time address the emerging challenges, then boosting AMISOM’s capabilities, especially in the areas of personnel, logistics, mobility, intelligence, aviation and disposal of unexploded ordnance, will be critical.”
A stabilization plan for Mogadishu addresses key reconstruction issues that will be critical to ensuring “political buy-in” from ordinary Somalis, Mr. Mahiga said.
Kenya’s decision last month to send its armed forces into Somalia to confront Al Shabaab militants is a demonstration of the importance the region attaches to Somalia’s instability and the broader risk of regional insecurity if the insurgency is not contained, he stated.
“Somalia remains the most challenging issues on the international community’s radar. One thing is certain – only sustained engagement by all stakeholders at the local, regional and international levels will ensure that this rare moment is fully exploited,” wrote Mr. Mahiga.
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