Thu, May 17, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Opponents of peace in Somalia will be named and shamed

AP, UNITED NATIONS

The UN, African Union and East Africa’s regional organization have warned opponents of Somalia’s move toward peace and a permanent government that they will be named and shamed and may face sanctions if they continue their obstruction, the UN envoy to the Horn of Africa nation said on Tuesday.

The UN Security Council announced in February that it would end the mandate for Somalia’s transitional government on Aug. 20.

It has called on all parties to implement a roadmap aimed at improving security, governance and reconciliation, and creating a constitution.

While Somalia has had transitional administrations since 2004, it has not had a functioning central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a longtime dictator and turned on each other, plunging the impoverished nation into anarchy.

UN special representative Augustine Mahiga told the Security Council that there have been “considerable advances” in preparing for the end of the long transition.

However, he said “the threat to the peace process from spoiler behavior is real” and should not be allowed to jeopardize implementation of the roadmap.

In his recent report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the transitional federal parliament “dysfunctional” and said the continuing crisis and impasse was delaying passage of legislation and progress on key steps in moving to a post-transition government.

Mahiga told the council that the “spoilers ... feel that the end of the transition will jeopardize their privileged positions and standing in Somalia.”

“They are, hence, employing various methods to obstruct and reverse the gains made in the implementation of the roadmap,” he said.

Mahiga said that on May 1, the UN mission in Somalia, the African Union peacekeeping force and the seven-nation regional bloc known as IGAD “issued a warning to all potential spoilers that non-compliance with or active obstruction of the roadmap will be followed by the naming and shaming of individuals.”

He said this could subsequently lead to calls on IGAD and the Security Council to impose “specific measures and restrictions,” including travel bans and possible asset freezes.

Mahiga said Somalia was entering “the most critical stage” in ending the transition and urged the international community to provide “timely logistical and financial support to enable us to complete the implementation of the roadmap before August.”

He said there have been “significant steps in the constitution-making process” and a draft will be submitted to a new 825-member National Constituent Assembly, to be chosen by a group of 135 traditional elders from all over Somalia, for provisional adoption.

A referendum will then be held to approve the final constitution to establish a permanent government.

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