Somalia takes further political steps

Aug. 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The United Nations welcomed the Somali signing of a national security and stabilization plan by the country's president.

Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed signed the national security plan that outlines long-term issues for security and justice sector reform in the country.

Ahmed, in a statement from Mogadishu, said signing the plan was "critical" for his country. He called on members of the international community to stand behind his country as it worked to complete the last steps of political transition.

The interim administration in Somali last year agreed on a series of measures meant to end the transitional period. There hasn't been a central government in Somalia since 1991 and the mandate for the transitional government ends Aug. 20.

Somali leaders recently agreed to the terms of a provisional constitution, paving the way for the nomination of a parliament. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the developments but said recent efforts were "not the end of the process."

Members of the Security Council expressed concern that militant group al-Shabaab, which controls part of the country, may work to spoil political advances in Somalia.

"They recall in this regard the Security Council's willingness to take measures against both internal and external actors engaged in actions aimed at undermining the peace and reconciliation process," a U.N. statement read.

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