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Somalia women attending a function/FILE


Peace ‘spoilers’ threaten Somalia progress

Somalia women attending a function/FILE

NAIROBI, May 1 – Peace “spoilers” threaten to wreck fragile progress in war-torn Somalia, the United Nations, African Union and East Africa’s main diplomatic body IGAD warned Tuesday.

In a rare joint statement, the three organisations said they were “greatly concerned” at efforts to undermine a “roadmap” signed by Somalia’s disparate leaders, the latest effort to bring peace after more than two decades of war.

“The roadmap continues to be jeopardised by the actions of individuals and groups in and out of Somalia, working to undermine the fragile progress we have collectively made in recent months,” the statement read.

“We have come too far, and too much is at stake, for us to allow the process to backslide at the exact moment Somalia has its best opportunity for peace in decades.”

Somali leaders signed in September the agreement for the formation of a government by August 20 to replace the weak transitional body that has failed to bring peace to the anarchic country, and is accused of rampant corruption.

Under the agreement, the latest among more than a dozen attempts to resolve the bloody civil war, lawmakers must agree on a system of government for Somalia’s fragmented regional — and often rival — administrations.

Somalia must also adopt a new constitution, select a new parliament and convene the national assembly.

The UN, AU and IGAD — the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development — said their statement was a “warning and a final opportunity” for those standing against peace.

The “unambiguous warning to all potential spoilers” did not specifically name any people or groups, but said non-compliance with the order would result in requests for sanctions from IGAD nations, or from the UN Security Council.

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The trio would take “concrete action” in coming weeks if it continued.

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