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UN and African partners adopt joint strategy on Somalia crisis

23 February 2011 – The United Nations and its African partners today adopted a joint strategy designed to help the troubled interim government in Somalia manage the transitional period.

The Joint Regional Strategy, adopted by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), outlines a common approach to political, security, humanitarian, institutional and financial issues and challenges facing the peace process in the Horn of Africa nation.

Somalia – which has not had a functioning central government since 1991 – has been torn apart by decades of conflict and factional strife, more recently with al-Shabaab Islamic militants. The country is also facing a dire humanitarian crisis in which 2.4 million people are in need of assistance.

The Strategy, signed at the monthly coordination meeting between Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Boubacar G. Diarra, the AU envoy for Somalia and head of AMISOM, and Kipruto arap Kirwa, the IGAD peace facilitator, will be used as a tool to enhance cooperation and information sharing between the three institutions, the international community and other partners, according to a joint communiqué.

Under the Transitional Federal Charter, the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was due to expire in August. Earlier this month, however, the interim parliament voted to extend its mandate by three years beyond the August deadline by which it was to enact a new constitution ahead of general elections.

That move drew criticism from Mr. Mahiga, who said the decision was made in haste and without the required consultation on how to end the transition and on next steps.

Other tasks which need to be completed during the transition period include political reconciliation and building civilian and security institutions.

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