NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Somalia needs support from the international community to place political development over security issues, the U.N. envoy for the country said.
Augustine Mahiga, U.N. special envoy for Somalia, wrote in the regional weekly, The EastAfrican, that only through sustained engagement can the country make substantial gains.
"Somalia remains the most challenging issues on the international community's radar," he wrote.
Kenya last month sent its military forces into Somalia to take on militants with al-Shabaab. The deployment was in part a response to the rise in the number of kidnappings attributed to the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group.
In August, the transitional government in Somalia was able to expand its authority when al-Shabaab pulled its forces from Mogadishu.
"This is a remarkable achievement and has led to roads being repaired, homes rebuilt and markets reopening," wrote Mahiga.
Djibouti recently sent forces to join the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. The AU aims to roughly double the number of troops backing the Somali government.