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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs