Sunday, September 02, 2012
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The African Union (AU) has given a 10-day ultimatum to Somali parliamentarians to conduct the much-delayed presidential ballot to end its political transition process. The 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC), which issued the ultimatum, also reiterated its readiness to impose sanctions on any political groups inside and outside Somalia that impedes the electoral process.
Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), formed in exile in Kenya in 2004, has been the most successful effort so far to create a central authority in Somalia since the fall of President Siad Barre.
“The incoming administration faces multi-sectoral challenges,” the AU Security Council said in a communiqué issued after its meeting late on Friday. “We call for unequivocal support of both Somali people in Diaspora as well as the undivided attention of the international community.”
After obtaining seasonal term extensions since 2009 in anticipation of general elections, the regional peace body, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN agreed to end the transition in 2012.
The deadline for electing the President was originally set for 20 August, but wrangling over the selection of parliamentarians led to the postponement of the process.
The council praised the government of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed for stabilizing the country with the help of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, but also asked the regional administrations to take over security and stabilization efforts through the formation of credible administrative bodies.
Meanwhile, the council has called for efforts to raise funds to provide Somali people with livelihoods, destroyed by years of civil strife and ruined by inter-tribal fighting that disrupted normalcy.
The council also called for the redoubling of efforts to ensure that the AMISOM defeats the terrorist group Al Shabaab.