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Agendas in Somalia skewed, envoy says

  |   Aug. 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM
MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Some lawmakers in Somalia are trying to pursue independent agendas in a way that's detrimental to political progress, a U.N. envoy said.

The mandate for the transitional government in Somalia expires Monday. Somali leaders have taken a series of steps to end the transition but U.N. officials have expressed concern about the development of a new Parliament.

Augustine Mahiga, U.N. special envoy to Somalia, warned that spoilers were trying to obstruct the transition process.

"We started with the warlords and, once they were contained, we came to see some parliamentarians who were trying to extend their own mandates and, in so doing, they were obstructing the political process," he told the United Nations' news service.

Warnings sent to Somali leaders seen as interfering in the transition would be followed by actions from the Security Council, he added.

There hasn't been a functioning central government in Somalia since 1991. The interim administration has struggled to extend its control outside of Mogadishu. Military forces from the African Union have worked to support the government amid threats to its influence from al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida ally that controls parts of the country.

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