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Issue 487 -- 28th May- 03rd June 2011
Explore Ways To Move Forward, Somalia Urged
Nairobi, Kenya, May 28, 2011 – Kenya has urged Somalia to agree urgently on how to move the country forward, including holding elections and establishing credible national institutions.
The country is also calling for more United Nations presence and assistance to bring to end incidences of violence off the coast of Somalia.
Kenya’s message was delivered by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Somalia that ended in Nairobi Wednesday.
The 15-member UNSC has been on a working tour of Africa. Prior to the Nairobi meeting, they were in Ethiopia for a meeting on peace and security and also visited Khartoum and Juba in Sudan.
The Security Council is holding its meeting in Nairobi only months after turning down Kenya’s request for deferral of the post election violence cases against six Kenyans at The Hague.
Ironically, it was the Vice President who was at the frontline lobbying the 15 Security Council members to prevail upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to suspend the trials for a year.
The Council has five permanent and veto-wielding members namely the US,UK, Russia, China and France. In addition, there are 10 non-permanent members who are elected every two years.
Currently, they consist of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil, Lebanon and India.
Mr Musyoka also briefed the Security Council in Nairobi over the situation in Somalia today.
According to Mr Musyoka, the political leadership, through the Transitional Federal Institutions should guarantee stability in the government.
The Vice President said the instability in Somalia has been a matter of great concerns to Kenya since the overthrow of the former President the late Siad Barre in 1991.
Mr Musyoka noted that the incessant conflict between various factions, coupled with the emergence of extremists is a matter that should be given more attention by the International Community.
“Kenya over the years has born the burden of hosting refugees from Somalia and it was therefore time stability was restored in the whole of Africa”, he added.
The Vice President also concern at the escalating incidences of violence off the coast of Somalia, saying it has contributed to the rising cost in international trade.
He called for more humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia.
The transition period of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is due to wrap up in August this year but the political situation has deteriorated since early 2011 due to rift between Somali president Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam and the parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Ade.
The international community had recently been calling for the high officials of the Somali government to end differences and prepare to hold elections before August.
The Transitional Parliament had its term extended by two years in March but the TFG will have to be elected afresh, a reason for the rift between the president and the speaker.
Mr Musyoka said there was need for the Transitional Federal Government and the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) to work together to work together to chart out the destiny of Somalia.
The agenda of the Security Council meeting revolved around the restoration of the peace, security and solving the political dispute between the president and the parliamentary speaker.
Source: Daily Nation