Nairobi, 29 July 2011 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, has welcomed the fast approval given by Parliament to the new Somali Cabinet, which was subsequently sworn in yesterday at Villa Somalia.

“I am very pleased that the Somali Parliament acted so promptly to endorse the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, well within the deadline set in the Kampala Accord,” he said. “This sends a strong, constructive signal and represents a positive start for the new Somali administration. The new Government must immediately tackle the most critical tasks with the objective of creating a national vision based on a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and a focus on the delivery of services.”

Dr. Mahiga also called on the Government to urgently begin to implement the Kampala Accord – in particular adopting the twelve month Roadmap on the way forward including preparing and adopting a constitution and stabilizing the security situation. He called on the Government to rapidly agree with the international community on a venue and date for the Consultative Meeting, which should take place before the planned high-level meeting on Somalia in the margins of the General Assembly in September.

“It is essential that we continue to build on the progress that has been made so far,” said Dr. Mahiga. “The Government will be severely tested now as it faces a dramatic humanitarian crisis and a number of serious political challenges while pursuing a major counter-insurgency military operation in Mogadishu. The TFG will need the renewed support of the entire international community during the difficult days ahead. It must show the population it is committed to helping to meet their immediate needs.”

Following his participation at the Emergency Ministerial-Level Meeting on the Horn of Africa organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome on Monday, Dr. Mahiga told members of the Somali Diaspora that the challenges are daunting, but could be overcome if the Somali leadership remains united. Dr. Mahiga reiterated his call to the international community to respond rapidly to the appeal launched to address the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa and in Somalia in particular.

Source: UNPOS