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UN slams media reports as Somalis strike key deal towards ending transition
Tuesday, August 07, 2012

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The United Nations (UN) has disputed reports on Somali media that President Sharif Hassan Ahmed walked out of a key meeting to discuss the terms of dissolving the country’s ruling interim government during a meeting in Nairobi of the signatories. UN Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, welcomed the Communiqué issued by the Signatories of the Roadmap for Ending the Transition in Nairobi Monday, hours after the President went back to Mogadishu to deal with urgent matters of the state.

The signatories to the Somali peace Roadmap for Ending the Transition concluded a meeting convened to discuss and resolve outstanding issues and ensure that all remaining tasks can be completed to end the current transitional period in two weeks before the 20 August deadline set in the Roadmap.

During this time, the Somali political groups are expected to elect parliamentarians, who would then elect the Speaker and his/her deputies in readiness for the election of the new President.

Mahiga said the signatories to the roadmap met and discussed the six agenda items, including the consolidation and publication of the traditional elders' list (in particular, the Dhulbahante elders issue and  the selection of the 275 members of parliament).

They also discussed the integrity and protection of the technical selection committee; the procedures for election by the parliament of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the President; and the current political situation in Galmadug, where an election of the regional President has taken place.

Originally planned to be a short meeting held on the margins of the signatories meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the signatories' discussions extended to a third day Monday.

“The issue of the Dubahande elders and the interpretation of the Garowe principles regarding the qualifications of Parliamentary candidates took a much longer time than was expected,” said Mahiga.

“The discussions were difficult, but all participants spoke candidly and frankly. In the end, a consensus was reached around all issues and a Communique initialed by all attendees was issued.”

Mahiga welcomed the consensus reached, but expressed concern at the time it took to resolve key issues.

“Time is pressing. The process cannot afford any more delays,” he said. “Now that these discussions are done I urge all parties to focus all their energy on completing the remaining tasks on time, as they have publicly committed to do,” the UN envoy said. 

The signatories reaffirmed the need and the determination to end the transition on the 20 August, and issued a stern warning to end the intimidation and corrupt practices that have emerged around the nomination of Parliamentary candidates.

They also stressed the need for the Technical Selection Committee, assisted by International Observers, to remain independent, objective, and ethical in their work.

Pana 07/08/2012

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