Interview A. P. Mahiga (UNPOS) - full version
Enlarge image A. P. Mahiga - UNPOS (© Courtesy of UNPOS) Full version of the interview in Habari (August 2012 edition), the German Embassy's print newsletter
1. What does UNPOS do?
The United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) provides political support for the efforts to establish lasting peace and stability in Somalia. UNPOS advances the cause of peace and reconciliation through contacts with Somali leaders, civic organisations and the states and organisations concerned. The office focuses on political facilitation, mediation and good offices; coordinates the efforts of the International Community to support Somalia on key issues such as security sector reform, rule of law, good governance, anti-piracy and human rights; and mobilises resources and support from the international community for both immediate recovery and long-term economic development.
2. How has the situation in Somaliachanged in the past months?
Somalia is dramatically different than it was year ago. First, the security situation has improved remarkably with Al-Shabaab being pushed out of the capital city of Mogadishu and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) expanding its scope of operations. On the political side we are on track to end the transitional period on 20 August in accordance with the Roadmap process. A provisional Constitution will be adopted in the coming days and the traditional elders will choose a National Federal Parliament and a new government paving the way for eventual popular elections. With regard to the humanitarian situation, the country remains at risk but famine has abated and IDPs have begun to return home. Stabilization efforts continue, and our hope is that Somalia will move from transition to transformation, re-taking its rightful place as a stable, secure and prosperous country at peace with itself and its neighbours.
3. What are your expectations for the post-transitional period?
The post-transitional period will be critical to Somalia’s progress. A new, more representative, Federal political dispensation will need to be in place to ensure that all Somali citizens have a voice in charting their country’s way forward. The Somali Security Sector must be stood up and sustainable institutions of governance built to protect the rights of every Somali, in accordance with the provisional constitution. Central to this process will be the holding of free, fair and credible national elections as soon as possible and within the term of the new National Federal Parliament. Somalia has waited two decades for peace – it is time to seize the opportunity and move forward into a brighter future.
The United nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) has been established in 1995, to help further peace and reconciliation in Somalia.