The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the international community to strengthen its presence in Somalia and support, including financially, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), while a high-level international conference on this Horn of Africa country opens in Turkey, a UN statement said here Friday.
Somalia has been plagued by civil war for the past two decades.
Mr. Ban made this call while presenting a report on the situation in Somalia to the UN Security Council before his leaving New York on Thursday for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the International Conference on the reconstruction of Somalia from 21 -23 May.
During the presentation, he hailed the efforts of the Transitional Federal Government to “bring peace and stability and asked it to continue the reconciliation policy it has launched,” the statement said.
Ban noted that the Somali transitional government has “begun to mobilize domestic resources to finance some of its initiatives, showing that it intends to gradually become more independent.”
He also welcomed “the commitment of the transitional government to form an all-inclusive government, appealing to parties who are outside the peace process”.
The UN Secretary General also welcomed the 15 March agreement between the government and the Ahlu Sunnah Jama, a faction of a Sufi militia.
However, Ban expressed concern about the lack of progress in several areas, while the transition period ends in August 2011.
He thus stated that “2010 is decisive for a transition under optimal conditions,” adding that “any failure incurred can only play in favour of the extremists, and contribute to worsening the situation of the Somali people.”
African Press Agency