News / Africa

International Backers of Somalia's TFG Show Growing Unease

A Somali government soldier looks at a car laden with explosives which targeted the Mogadishu airport, 09 Sep 2010
A Somali government soldier looks at a car laden with explosives which targeted the Mogadishu airport, 09 Sep 2010

Multimedia

Audio

International backers of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government are calling on government leaders to show cohesion and unity, signaling a growing unease in the international community about the stability of the fragile administration.

In a press statement, top foreign envoys to Somalia – including the U.N.'s Special Representative Augustine Mahiga, his counterpart from the African Union Boubacar Diarra, and Kipruto arap Kirwa from the regional body IGAD – described the ongoing feud between Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed and the Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as "unhelpful" and "potentially damaging" to a country ravaged by nearly two decades of war.

The envoys said those who stand to gain most from the in-fighting are extremists, led by al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group. The envoys stressed that President Sharif and Prime Minister Sharmarke need to work together to tackle the enormous challenges of defeating the Islamists' threat and establishing security by next August, when the mandate of the transitional government is set to expire.

Last Thursday, the three diplomats traveled to the Somali capital, Mogadishu to try to mediate between the Somali leaders. The diplomats were holding talks with President Sharif inside the airport when it came under attack by gunmen and suicide bombers sent by al-Shabab.

The envoys were not harmed. But observers say the attack drove home concerns that the U.N.-backed government is failing to address mounting security issues.

The current Somali government came to power in early 2009 and is the 15th attempt by the international community to form a central government in Somalia since 1991. It is made up of former Islamist opposition leaders and secular politicians, who were expected to reconcile with hard-line Islamist opponents and establish a functioning administration in Somalia.  

But the anti-government insurgency intensified, leaving the government in control of only a small area of Mogadishu defended by African Union peacekeeping troops. Meanwhile, rising insecurity prompted hundreds of parliament members to flee Somalia and seek safety in neighboring countries and internal divisions paralyzed the government.

In May of this year, the Somali president tried to oust the prime minister by firing him, but Mr. Sharif failed to win parliamentary support. London-based Somali political analyst Liban Ahmad says that incident clearly demonstrated the degree of animosity that exists between the two leaders.

"The power struggle that started back earlier this year, when the president sacked the prime minister only to reinstate him in the same week, that power struggle is still going on," Ahmad said. "So, as long as the core issues of power between the two men are not addressed, it keeps coming [back] to really disappoint the partners of the TFG [Transitional Federal Government]."

Repeated political battles have led to President Sharif dissolving the cabinet. Many lawmakers and Cabinet members are said to be divided into pro-Sharif or pro-Sharmarke factions.  

And there is little sign that the disputes are coming to an end. On Monday, Prime Minister Sharmarke openly accused the president and some allied ministers and lawmakers of plotting to undermine his authority and oust him from government.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid