UN welcomes deal between Somali president, parliament speaker to extend transitional period for 1 year

09:37, June 10, 2011      

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Top United Nations (UN) envoy for Somalia on Thursday expressed his satisfaction over the agreement signed by the President of Somalia Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the Speaker of Parliament Shariff Hassan Sheikh Aden, in Kampala, capital city of Uganda to extend the country's transitional period for another year.

In a statement issued in Nairobi, Augustine Mahiga, the special representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia (SRSG) termed the UN-backed deal which was reached under the auspices of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as a breakthrough. "I am delighted that we have managed to overcome the deadlock in such a constructive way," said Mahiga. "The leaders worked together in a positive manner to come up with this important political breakthrough. They are to be congratulated. I also extend my sincere appreciation to President Museveni for his unwavering support over the past week."

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.

The UN envoy said it was a breakthrough in resolving the five- month long political impasse in Mogadishu over ending the current transition period and the following political arrangements.

Under the agreement, known as the Kampala Accord, the terms of both the presidency and the parliament have been extended for one year, while a new prime minister should be appointed within the next 30 days.

The SRSG said the signatories should seek to get the political buy-in and support of other stakeholders including regional authorities and partners.

The Somali president and speaker have pledged to work together during the interim period of one year to implement priority tasks in accordance with a roadmap to be agreed with timeliness, benchmarks and compliance mechanisms, including the formation of a regional political bureau of heads of state.

These priority tasks include finalizing and adopting the constitution, reforming institutions, enhancing security and rebuilding the security sector, continuing outreach and reconciliation, rolling out basic administrative and social services to ensure the stabilization of areas recovered from armed groups, improving accountability and preparing for elections.

Source: Xinhua
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