News / Africa

    UN Security Council Demands Results From Somali Government

    Britain's Ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant addresses a news conference at the United Nations offices at Gigiri in Kenya's capital Nairobi, May 25, 2011
    Britain's Ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant addresses a news conference at the United Nations offices at Gigiri in Kenya's capital Nairobi, May 25, 2011
    Michael Onyiego

    As the campaign to oust Islamist insurgent group al Shabab intensifies, the U.N. Security Council is warning Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government to resolve its internal differences or lose backing from the international community.

    With the internationally approved mandate of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government set to expire in August, the political future of the country is unclear. Neither a new constitution nor national elections have been delivered in the seven years since the TFG was created, as was initially hoped.

    Operational failure

    In February, the Transitional Federal Parliament moved to unilaterally extend its mandate by an additional three years, much to the dismay of the international community. Now, a rift between the parliamentary speaker and the president has ground government business to a near standstill, making progress toward the fulfillment of its mandate impossible.

    Against a backdrop of uncertainty, a delegation from the U.N. Security Council was in Nairobi to discuss Somalia’s future. The delegation held talks Wednesday with the Somali prime minister, president and speaker of parliament.  

    Late Wednesday, British Representative Mark Lyall Grant said the Security Council’s patience for Somalia’s leadership is wearing thin.

    “We set out as the Security Council, a strong and united set of messages," said Grant. "Firstly, they should stop the infighting and unilateral extensions of their respective mandates. Secondly, they should focus on the key transitional tasks to which they had previously been committed.”

    Missed benchmarks

    Grant highlighted the constitution, outreach and reconciliation, good governance, and corruption as key benchmarks the government has failed to meet.

    Much of Somalia’s governmental paralysis stems from an open power-struggle between President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden. In late March the Transitional Federal Institutions, which include the presidency, voted to extend their mandate for one year, a move that Aden blasted as unconstitutional.

    Bickering within the Somali government has been a mainstay of Somali parliament during the term of the transitional government, but it appears as if major backers, such as the United States and United Kingdom, as well as the Security Council, are increasingly frustrated by the situation.

    Governmental paralysis

    Shortly after the meetings, American Representative Susan E. Rice tweeted “Get your act together, resolve your differences or lose [international] support.”

    It appears the future of that support rests in the outcome of a meeting to discuss the end of the transitional mandate that is being convened by U.N. Special Representative on Somalia Augustine Mahiga next month in Mogadishu.

    “The international community expects that at that meeting there should be agreement on the timing of elections, road map, benchmarks for the way forward in the political process in Somalia," said Grant. "SRSG Mahiga will be reporting back to the security council following that meeting.”

    Lack of consequences

    Mahiga is somewhat unpopular with Somali leadership, and it is currently unclear how the announced meeting will be received by Somali lawmakers. A similar meeting was convened last month in Nairobi, but was boycotted by most of the Transitional Federal Government.
    Grant said no specific consequences for failing to reach an agreement had been discussed, but assured the media that certain “tools” could be employed. The European Union pays the salaries of the Somali members of parliament, and Grant suggested other sources of funding could be leveraged.

    Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991. The embattled TFG is facing al-Qaida linked insurgent group al Shabab, and controls very little of southern Somalia. With the help of African Union peacekeepers, the government has made recent gains in the capital, Mogadishu, but still controls only part of the city.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.