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Somalia's next steps 'precarious'

Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Somalia is on the edge of becoming a success story though the next few steps may be "precarious," a U.N. envoy told the Security Council.

Last year, Somalia established its first functioning central government in Mogadishu since 1991 and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon established the country's first Ministry for Human Rights during a special parliamentary session last month.

Nicholas Kay, U.N. special envoy for Somalia, told the Security Council he was optimistic about Somalia's future.

"Behind the twists and turns, the crises and the standoffs, Somalia has the foundations for progress," he said Thursday.

Kay noted there was a high level of support from members of the international community that ensures Somali progress. The European Union said Monday it was offering a peacekeeping mission in Somalia $163 million in assistance to help cover troop allowances.

He warned, however, the country could slide backward without continued support as the Somali government struggles to exert its authority beyond Mogadishu amid lingering threats from al-Shabaab, al-Qaida's affiliate in Somalia.

"We are standing on the very edge of great success," he said. "Where we stand is also precarious."

Militants this week tried to kill Ahmad Muhammad Islam Madobe, interim leader of the Jubba regional administration in southern Somalia.

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