UNSC Pledges Continued Support To Somalia
(RTTNews) – The 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) pledged Tuesday to continue supporting new institutions and offices of the Somali authorities, and urged the country’s new President to appoint an inclusive and accountable government.
Incidentally, the Horn of Africa nation had been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process in recent months, with the country’s transitional federal institutions implementing the “Roadmap for the End of Transition” devised last September.
The process culminated in the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President last week. The transition process included the adoption of a new Provisional Constitution, selection of a 275-member Parliament by a group of 135 traditional Somali elders picked by the country’s 825-member National Constituent Assembly and election of a Parliament Speaker, Deputy Speaker as well as President by the new lawmakers.
In a resolution adopted unanimously on Tuesday, the UNSC stressed the importance of the new Somali authorities developing a program to define post-transition priorities, and stated that a national referendum on the provisional constitution and general elections should take place within the term of the current parliament.
It also underlined the responsibility of the Somali authorities “to support reconciliation and deliver effective and inclusive local administrations, and public services to the people,” and added that these initiatives must be complemented by the expansion of rule of law institutions to areas recovered from al-Shabaab insurgents.
Al-Shabaab is Somalia’s most prominent and influential Islamist militant unit, and is branded a terrorist organization by the United States and most of the international community. The al-Qaeda aligned outfit is the military wing of the Islamist movement ousted by Ethiopia-backed Somali forces in 2006.
The UNSC also strongly condemned the grave and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by many parties, including al-Shabaab, and emphasized the need for accountability for all such violations and abuses.
The Council also reiterated its support for the UN-backed African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and called on all partners to support the mission by providing the funding for troops, equipment and technical assistance.
Somalia has been without a functioning government since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre’s government in 1991. Until recently, Islamist militant groups like the al-Shabaab controlled large areas in southern Somalia where they enforced strict Islamic laws or Sharia.
Nonetheless, in recent months, Somali forces backed by African Union peacekeepers have managed to seize control of most regions, except some pockets which are under rebel control. However, the country continues to witnesses frequent bombings and militant attacks, mainly in capital Mogadishu.