Somalia must meet August 20 deadline for political transition-EU

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The European Union has urged the Somali leadership and all other stakeholders to implement their commitments to end the current transition on August 20, and to demonstrate they are acting in the interests of the Somali people as a whole.

At its meeting on Monday, the Foreign Affairs Council welcomed the agreement of the Somali Roadmap Signatories made in Nairobi last month on the final draft Provisional Constitution that will be handed over to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA).

The EU expressed concern that continuous readjustment of timelines and missed deadlines risk undermining the transparency and legitimacy of the political process initiated by the Garowe Principles.

The Council made it clear that an extension of the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) will not be accepted and efforts to obstruct genuine reform in Somalia will be met with appropriate action.

In line with the commitments made by the Roadmap Signatories, the EU urged the Traditional Elders to swiftly select the members of the New Federal Parliament (NFP), with the assistance of the Technical Selection Committee, and underlines the need for an effective legislature that will have an independent role of oversight of the Executive.

The EU also demanded the immediate convening of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) in order to vote on the adoption of the draft Provisional Constitution, until such time that Somalis can express themselves in a referendum.

It called for the completion of the process with the election of the President and of the Speaker/Deputies by the NFP, and urged the Somali leadership to act in full transparency and provide public information during the remainder of this period. The EU underlined the importance of meeting the commitment of 30 per cent representation of women in the new Federal Institutions.

The EU underlined the urgency for the New Federal Institutions to identify and tackle key pending issues, including in the Provisional Constitution. It also called on them to achieve progress in outreach and reconciliation, transparency and accountability, effective governance and the rule of law, justice and human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country, including in newly accessible areas.

“Based on assessment of progress made towards implementing this work plan, the EU will determine its support to the New Federal institutions,” the Council said in a statement.

Somalia is scheduled to end the transition period by August 20 and the new government is expected to set out its priorities in a work plan within 60 days of its formation, as agreed at the Rome ICG meeting.

Elsewhere in Mogadishu, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga and Benadir regional governor Mr. Tarsan today held talks with Somali elders tasked with the selection of the National Constituent Assembly.

The trio urged the elders to speed up their selection process in order to meet the August 20 deadline.

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