Somalia still needs support, U.N. says

Aug. 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Mogadishu needs international support as it moves to resolve loose ends in its political transition, a U.N. special envoy to the country said.

Somali lawmakers have adopted a draft constitution and the selection of some members of Parliament by a special committee of Somali elders. Augustine Mahiga, U.N. special envoy for Somalia, said it was vital that Somalia gets the support it needs as political developments take place.

"We must all support this effort to ensure that the complete number of the new Somali lawmakers begin their vital work immediately," he said in a statement.

Somali leaders in Mogadishu are struggling to exert their authority beyond the capital. Al-Shabaab, a militant group aligned with al-Qaida, controls parts of the country.

The U.N. Security Council last week subjected military leader Abubaker Shariff Amhed to a travel ban and arms embargo for his support for al-Shabaab.

"Abubaker Shariff Ahmed has preached at mosques in Mombasa that young men should travel to Somalia, commit extremist acts, fight for al-Qaida and kill U.S. citizens," a resolution stated.

There hasn't been a formal central government in Somalia since 1991.

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