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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs