See also:
» 11.03.2010 - UN confirms Somalia food aid corruption
» 01.03.2010 - Somalia’s TFG hailed after one year in power
» 23.02.2010 - Journalist abducted in Somalia
» 17.02.2010 - Somali refugees moved to Ethiopia
» 08.02.2010 - Kenya dismiss reports on Somali army training
» 02.02.2010 - Somali militant group declares affiliation to al Qaeda
» 26.01.2010 - Official condemns Mogadishu bombing
» 20.01.2010 - Tighten controls on military assistance to Somalia - AI

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Politics | Society

Somalia could fall to opposition hands

afrol News, 10 July - A UN top official has warned that Somalia could fall in the hands of opposition groups and militants, if the international community allows Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) process of consensus to fail.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe stated that the international community has few options in resolving the Somali crisis. “Its either we help the Somali people overcome the current attempt to thwart efforts towards peace or we allow the new unity Government based on consensus and the Djibouti Accords to fall to a radical armed opposition,” he said.

Last year's UN-facilitated Djibouti Agreement ended the conflict between the TFG and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia, with President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed taking office in January and a new government being formed in February.

He said since February, the TFG has met a number of challenges which include radical insurgency in the Horn of Africa state. “It is reaching out to opposition forces and working to broaden its support among community, religious and civil society leaders, while trying to project a moderate vision of Islam in line with Somali culture,” he said.

He also called for nations to honour the pledges made in April at a donors’ conference in Brussels for both the government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), emphasizing that it is in the world’s interest to ensure that the TFG does not collapse.

“To enable the government to enhance its legitimacy and broaden its base, we must invest in building the security institutions and improve its capacity to deliver public services and employment, which would have a positive impact on the hearts and minds of ordinary Somalis,” the official said.

National reconciliation is also a key element in consolidating peace in the country, he said, adding that the country's peace process is open to all groups renouncing violence and willing to cooperate with the government.

Also essential, he said, is bolstering the AMISOM and providing it with the resources necessary to support the TFG and the Somali people.

Earlier this week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that over 200,000 people have now been forced to flee the Somali capital, Mogadishu, since fighting broke out between the Government and opposition groups in early May, in the biggest exodus from the troubled city since Ethiopian forces intervened in the Horn of Africa nation in 2007.

The Security Council commended AMISOM’s efforts in Somalia, and took note of the communiqué recently issued at the AU summit in Sirte, Libya, which called on the Council to impose sanctions against Eritrea and others supporting armed groups undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia.

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