Somali prime minister warns of “descent into political instability”
Laaska News May 12,2011
UNITED NATIONS, May 11 (Xinhua) — Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, the prime minister of the UN-backed Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG), on Wednesday warned of a “descent into political instability” in the Horn of Africa country, saying that his nation “is at war with internal and external extremist forces and with a debilitating issue of piracy.”
“The most disturbing consequence of this situation is the descent into political instability at precisely the time when the security situation is on the verge of a breakthrough and governance is taking effective strides forward,” Mohamed told the UN Security Council in an open meeting on Somalia.
Warning that “with such visible progress on the ground, this is the worst possible time to be distracted by untenable election processes and the divisive campaigning that will inevitably take place,” he said. “The TFG also believes that the diversion of focus from governance and security to election campaigning will offer Al-Shabaab an opportunity it will take full advantage of.”
Under the Transitional Federal Charter, the mandate of the TFG was due to expire in August.
However, in February, the interim parliament unilaterally voted to extend its mandate by three years beyond the August deadline by which it was to enact a new constitution ahead of general elections.
“We have proposed to the Parliament and to our international partners to consider extending the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) for additional 12 months,” Mohamed told the Council.
“The nation is at war with internal and external extremist forces and with a debilitating issue of piracy,“ he said, highlighting that because of the “state of war,” the extension was critical.
“We believe that a further 12 months of political stability and security progress will create a chance for real and fair elections in which potentially the public can take part,” he said. “The question is how the TFI could secure legitimacy without undermining current progress with regard to security, stability and war efforts.”
In moving forward, Mohamed told the Council he appointed a ministerial committee, chaired by him and requested the Parliament to meet in order to “settle our differences amicably and find an acceptable and mutually agreed consensus.”
Somalia, which has not had a functioning central government since 1991, has been torn apart by decades of conflict and factional strife, more recently with Al-Shabaab Islamic militants.