What's In Blue

Somalia Consultations

Tomorrow morning (28 August), Council members are scheduled to hold consultations on the political situation in Somalia, with Special Representative Augustine Mahiga set to brief and present the Secretary-General’s most recent report on Somalia (S/2012/643). (Council members last discussed the situation in Somalia during consultations with the Department of Political Affairs on 7 August.) At press time it was unclear whether there would be any outcome from Tuesday’s consultations. It is possible Council members may prefer to wait until the election of Somalia’s new President which would mark the official end of the transition period. At that point a press or presidential statement would most likely welcome the end of the transition and articulate medium-term goals for Somali stakeholders.

Council members will be interested in an update on developments in Somalia since the passing of the deadline for the end of the transition to permanent federal institutions on 20 August. On that day, 215 out of 275 new members of Parliament were sworn in, allowing the legislature to begin its work, although the final transitional tasks of electing a Speaker, Deputy Speakers and President are yet to take place. On 25 August, Mahiga issued a statement expressing his deep concern over ongoing delays in finalising the list of members of Parliament. He urged the Traditional Elders and Technical Selection Committee to fulfill their responsibilities in time for elections of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker scheduled for Tuesday as well (28 August).

In his briefing, Mahiga is likely to address transparency and corruption issues that have arisen in the context of the delays to the end of the transition. The question of corruption within the incoming government will also likely be of interest to Council members, as will any progress on the establishment of a Joint Financial Management Board for Somalia. (Resolution 2060 welcomed the recommendation of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group for such a board to be established, and called for cooperation from relevant actors to do so rapidly.)

Though Council members are generally in agreement on issues relating to the end of the transition in Somalia, there remain some differences as to how strongly the Council should react to accusations of corruption within the Transitional Federal Government and potential corruption within its successor. Some members are reluctant to press Somali officials too strongly on these issues while others stress that the Council must make clear that instances of bribery or similar malfeasance are unacceptable.

In its 10 August press statement on the Somalia situation (SC/10740), the Council welcomed the adoption of a provisional constitution in Somalia on 1 August. The statement also highlighted ongoing attempts by the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and others to undermine the process through violence and intimidation and Council members are likely to be keen to receive an update on the issue of “spoilers” during the consultations. (The Technical Selection Committee charged with naming the 275 parliamentarians rejected at least 60 individuals on the basis of their past involvement with groups accused of contributing to instability in Somalia.)

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