Somalia still needs world’s help

Saturday January 5 2013


Top UN envoy for Somalia has called for sustained international support for the country if it is to consolidate gains it has realised in the past year.

In a year-end letter, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga, however, cautioned that the road to stabilisation will not be easy.

“Somalia remains a state in need of support from the international community, which will need to re-invest comprehensively and generously if the country is to capitalise on its resources,” Mr Mahiga said.

He said at the beginning of 2011, the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and half of its staff relocated to Somalia from neighbouring Kenya and continued to work alongside key Somali partners in a variety of sectors.

“The centre of gravity has shifted to Mogadishu, and UNPOS is completing a major strategic review to ensure full alignment of its policies and programmes with the goals and aims of the new government,” he added.

Mr Mahiga said the mission is increasing staff presence in Somalia by 100 per cent in coming weeks as he called on other members of the international community “to come to Mogadishu.”

August marked a historic political watershed for Somalia with the swearing-in of the country’s first formal parliament in more than 20 years.

The event brought to an end a transition period which begun with the 2004 launch of a UN-backed interim government after Somalis had been without a functioning government since the overthrow of dictator.