United Nations: Somalia faces 'greatest opportunity' to end transition period

May 16, 2012

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The UN envoy to Somalia called on the international community on Tuesday (May 15th) to boost its efforts to help Somalia end the transitional period.

"As Somalia faces the greatest opportunity to end the transition, after so much investment by the international community and well-wishing Somalis, we must complete the tasks at hand," Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Augustine P. Mahiga told the Security Council in New York. "We must provide timely logistical and financial support to enable us to complete the implementation of the Roadmap before August this year, as well as strengthen international co-operation and co-ordination."

"The lack of funding for the Roadmap in the remaining three months is of serious concern to all of us, including the Transitional Federal Government," he said. "The Constituent Assembly is almost grinding to a halt for lack of funding."

The envoy also reiterated that spoilers could damage advances made toward building peace in Somalia. "We must deal with these elements before they succeed in undermining the peace process," Mahiga said.

Somalia faces an August 20th deadline for implementing the Roadmap.

The Security Council said that with time running out, the political process is now at a "critical phase". Council members praised progress made so far, but "expressed concern that some deadlines for the completion of tasks had already been missed".

France's UN envoy Gerard Araud also expressed worry that all of the political deadlines were several weeks behind.

"Any delay or backsliding in implementing the transition is totally unacceptable," US ambassador Susan Rice told the Council. "Somalia and the wider region cannot afford to revert to the endless cycles of violence and suffering that have plagued the country and threatened the region for decades."

Britain's deputy UN ambassador Philip Parham said the international community must support political efforts that provide "incentives to progress" and that are "prepared to take action against any who seek to block or undermine the process".

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