UN Special Representative for Somalia welcomes the Communiqué issued by the Signatories of the Roadmap for Ending the Transition
Six agenda items were discussed at the meeting; the consolidation and publication of the traditional elders list (in particular, the Dhulbahante elders issue); the selection of the 275 members of parliament; the integrity and protection of the technical selection committee; the procedures for election by the parliament of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the President; and the current political situation in Galmadug.
Originally planned to be a short meeting held on the margins of the signatories meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the discussions today extended to a third day. “The issue of the Dubahande elders and the interpretation of the Garowe principles regarding the qualifications of Parliamentary candidates took a much longer time than was expected,” said SRSG Mahiga. “The discussions were difficult, but all participants spoke candidly and frankly. In the end a consensus was reached around all issues and a Communique initialed by all attendees was issued.”
SRSG Mahiga welcomed the consensus reached, but expressed concern at the time it took to resolve key issues. “Time is pressing. The process cannot afford any more delays,” SRSG Mahiga said. “Now that these discussions are done I urge all parties to focus all their energy on completing the remaining tasks on time, as they have publically committed to do.”
Through the communiqué, the signatories reaffirmed the need and the determination to end the transition on the 20 August, and issued a stern warning to end the intimidation and corrupt practices that have emerged around the nomination of Parliamentary candidates. They also stressed the need for the Technical Selection Committee, assisted by International Observers, to remain independent, objective, and ethical in their work. The issue around security and protection of the Technical Selection Committee was entrusted to UNPOS and AMISOM.
Dr. Mahiga also affirmed the importance of the work of the Technical Selection
Committee and echoed the concern that they be protected. “Since some of the signatories are now candidates, there is also a need to insulate and protect both the traditional elders and the technical selection committee from all new and incumbent political aspirants to allow them to complete this most critical task of vetting the names of the new Parliamentarians,” SRSG Mahiga concluded.
President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed chaired the first day of discussions, and then delegated the chairing of the remainder of meeting to the Speaker, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden when the President returned to Mogadishu to attend to urgent issues on Sunday