Addis Ababa, 24 August 2012: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Dr Jean Ping, welcomes the recent encouraging developments in Somalia.  In  particular,  the  Chairperson lauded  the  grassroots  approach  to  participatory  democracy  leading  to  the  ongoing  selection  of members of Parliament  through  the exemplary  and  coordinated efforts of  the Traditional  Elders, the Technical Selection Committee and the International Observers. 

Twenty  one  years  after  the  country  fell  into  conflict,  the  National  Constituent  Assembly  (NCA) chosen by 135 Traditional Leaders adopted, on 1 August, a new Constitution and on 20 August, a new Federal Parliament was inaugurated, thereby paving the way for ending the Transition, and for opening the first legislature to be formed inside Somalia since 1991. These developments constitute a significant milestone for the people of Somalia. 

The security situation across south central Somalia has notably continued to improve, thanks to the multi-pronged operations being carried out by the Somalia National Security Forces (NSF) and their allies, with the support of AMISOM and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF). 

As  Somalia  continues  on  this  path  of  progress,  further  work  needs  to  be  done.  The  Traditional Elders  and  the  Technical  Selection  Committee must  complete  the  important  and  urgent  task  of vetting and appointing the remaining members of Parliament.  

The  Chairperson,  noting  the  impending  election  of  the  Speaker  of  Parliament  and  the  Deputies, scheduled for Sunday, 26th August 2012, encouraged Parliament to stand by the timetable and put in  place  all  procedures  and  committees  necessary  for  a  speedy,  fair  and  transparent  election culminating in the election of the President of the country. 

The  African  Union remains  concerned  that  the  process  to  end  the  Transition  continues  to  be jeopardized by individuals determined to maintain Somalia in a state of chaos. As we approach the very  last  milestones  of  the  roadmap,  any  attempt  to  derail  this  process  will  be  unacceptable. Recalling the joint statements of 1 May 2012 and 9 August 2012 of the AU, IGAD and the UN, issuing a  last warning to those undermining the process, the Chairperson underlined the readiness of the African Union, working closely with its partners, to take measures against spoilers.  

The  Chairperson  takes  this  opportunity  to  reaffirm  the  African Union’s  commitment  to  continue supporting  the  country’s  peace  and  reconciliation  process.  To  this  end,  the  African  Union  will continue  to work closely with  IGAD,  the UN and other  international partners. Equally,  the African Union  will  stand  shoulder  to  shoulder  with  the  Somali  people  in  this  last  phase  of  ending  the Transition and as they open a new chapter in their long struggle for greater stability.


Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo
Last updated by Limi Mohammed

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