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TFG Will Fall Short, Says UNOPS
Infighting, Mistrust, Lack of Funding, and War Hinder The TFG
By ABDILATIF MAALIM 03/14/2011

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) will not achieve many of its transitional tasks before its term expires, according to the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Africa Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

In a bid to help the TFG manage the transitional period, the United Nations and its African partners last month adopted a Joint Regional Strategy which is expected to harmonize the activities of the UNPOS, IGAD, and AMISOM. The Joint Strategy report obtained by Somalia Report, “AMISOM-IGAD-UNPOS Strategy to Support the TFG in the Management of the Transition Period,” was signed in Nairobi last month. The strategy, which outlines a common approach of the three organizations in Somalia, also highlights the concerns the international community has that the TFG will likely fall short of transitional tasks before it is time expires in August.

The policy paper also suggests that infighting within the TFG is the biggest obstacle to the realization of the tasks.

The document, signed by Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Boubacar G. Diarra, the AU Envoy for Somalia and head of AMISOM, and Kipruto Arap Kirwa, the IGAD peace facilitator, warns that “... the TFG will not achieve many of the transitional tasks before its mandate expires.”

Among the key tasks the transitional federal government is expected to do before it term lapses are: develop and finalize a federal constitution, take a national census, vote on a national referendum to approve the new constitution, set up administrations at the state, regional and district levels, and establish auxiliary organs like the Governor of the Central Bank, Auditor General, Accountant General and the office of the Attorney General.

The transitional tasks also require the TFG to oversee a general election to mark the end of the transitional period. The strategy paper notes, “this means that consultations and preparations should begin now for a new political arrangements in Somalia, one that would be more broad based, effective and enjoys greater legitimacy domestically and internationally. ”

The strategy report reveals that there is continued a mutual mistrust within TFG circles and ASWJ including the lack of mutual confidence between the president, prime minister and speaker. The lack of a strong political cohesion among the leadership of the TFG makes it even more necessary to have a clear road map for the three institutions in their engagement with the TFG.

The joint strategy also identifies other challenges hampering the chances of the TFG including the lack of adequate and predictable funding, weak institutional capacity of the TFG, the volatile and fragile security situation in the country exacerbated by lack of an organized national security that ought to protect and instill confidence in the population.

Somalia is also currently in political limbo over the Parliament’s controversial extension of its term by three years, which drew criticism by the international community. Under the Transitional Federal Charter, the mandate of the TFG was due to expire in August.

“This a disappointing decision taken in a haste with out the required level of discussion and consultation on how to end the transition period and on the next political dispensation,” Mr Mahiga said in a reaction to the extension of the parliament term by three years.