Somalia mandate should be decided by people-minister


By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar said on Friday that the mandate of his administration should be decided “by the people”, days after a U.N. official said its extension was not an option.

Under the terms of a 2009 deal, the mandate of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) expires on August 20, by which time it should have enacted a new basic law and held a general election.

But a raging insurgency has seen the government do little more than battle for survival, while tens of thousands of civilians have been killed over the past four years.

There have been calls from some parts of the government for its term to be extended. Augustine Mahiga, the U.N.’s special representative for Somalia, said this was not an option and talks were needed on what shape the next government takes.

“The international community has been supportive and will be supportive, and we are very grateful for that. But in the end, the buck stops with us,” Omaar told reporters on the sidelines of an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital.



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