UNSC sets up new political mission in Somalia

New York, May 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to establish the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (or UNSOM), the world body said.

The mission will be based in the Somali capital Mogadishu from June 3 for a one-year initial period.

The Council stressed the need for “effectively coordinated international support for Somalia’s federal government”, and said the mission’s mandate would in particular include providing assistance to the government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force (AMISOM) with advice on peace and state building.

The mission would also help Somalia coordinate international support, build capacity in human rights and the rule of law, and monitor and prevent human rights violations.

The UN noted some progress towards stability in Somalia that has been “torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991”.

In 2011, the UN said, Islamist group Al-Shabaab retreated from Mogadishu and new government institutions emerged in 2012 as the country completed a transitional phase toward establishing a permanent, democratically elected government.

About 260,000 people died in the famine in Somalia in October 2010-April 2012, partly because the international community was not quick enough to act, the top UN humanitarian official in the country said.

Philippe Lazzarini, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, reacted to the findings in a new report funded and commissioned by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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