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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs