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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Somali spoilers put on notice


Special Reports

There's too much at stake in Somalia to let "spoilers" ruin gains made in political transformation and control, a joint diplomatic read.

There's too much at stake in Somalia to let "spoilers" ruin gains made in political transformation and control, a joint diplomatic statement read.

The U.N. Political Office for Somalia, the African Union mission and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development issued an "unambiguous warning to potential spoilers" that they face sanctions if they get in the way of Somalia's political development.

"We have now entered a critical juncture of the transitional period of the peace process in Somalia," 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."

Al-Shabaab, a militant group tied to al-Qaida, controls parts of Somalia though it has lost ground amid an offensive supported by troops from the AU. There hasn't been a formal central government in Somalia since the 1990s and the joint statement warned that bombings and internal conflict is still a concern in the country.

The tenure for the interim government in Somalia expires in August under the terms of a transitional roadmap spelled out last year.

"We remain greatly concerned that the roadmap continues to be jeopardized 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.

Washington last month said that despite the progress, it was extending a national emergency with respect to Somalia for another year.

Source: UPI (http://www.upi.com/

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