News / Africa

    UN Secretary General Worried About Power Vacuum in Somalia

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)
    x
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo)
    Dorian Jones
    The United Nations Secretary-General warned against the dangers of a power vacuum in Somalia with the mandate of the "Somalia transition government" due to end this August.  The warning was made at the end of a two day international conference on Somalia in Istanbul, Turkey that included representatives from 54 countries.

    The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned delegates at the Istanbul conference on Somalia against the dangers of warlords exploiting a power vacuum in the east African country and said the international community must strengthen security and increase aid in order to head off the warlords.

    The Somali transitional government mandate expires on August 20th. But Secretary-General Ban said the conference gave positive commitments to be ready for that date.

    "I was assured by President Sheik Ahmed and all the delegations hoped and expected ((the transitional goverment)) should be ended by that day. By then Somalia must have broad-based and inclusive political governance," Ban said.

    Ban said a new president of Somalia must be elected by August 20 and he said the new government should be based on an established constitution.  

    He said the new governement must reflect international human rights standards and the new constitution should be put to a referendum open to all Somalis regardless of gender, clan or political affiliation.

    The Secretary-General praised the commitment to 30% female representation in the planned constituent Assembly and new parliament of Somalia.  

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addressing the closing press conference said the Istanbul meeting had agreed on a new initiative with the emphasis on security for Somalia.

    He said the three pillars to rebuilding Somalia are political stability,  economic re-development and especially security.  He said thats why we have agreed at this conference, under the initiative of Turkey, to set up a "Rebuilding and Restructuring fund for the Somali security sector."
     
    The call for urgent international aid for Somalia came as allegations of corruption hung over the conference.

    According to a World Bank report, over $100 million in aid to the Somalia transitional government between 2009 and 2010 could not be accounted for.  But Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed welcomed the report and call for international assistance.

    He said the missing funds referred to never reached Somalia and he said maybe they are in the pockets of other people. He said Samalis would welcome the help of international organizations to help find where this money went, as the Somalia transitional goverment is now struggling to pay workers their wages.

    The British foreign minister William Hague, who attended the conference, called for the setting up, as soon as possible, of the Joint Financial Management Board which was agreed upon at February's London conference on Somalia. The board is intended to help regulate Somalia's finances and development assistance.

    The Istanbul meeting agreed on the establishment of a multi donor Trust Fund for assistance after the transition of power to a new government in August.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora