Somali politicians told to stop the bickering

Young soldier with machine gun behind trenches

Young soldier with machine gun behind trenches

Somalia's politicians have been given an ultimatum to get their act together or lose international support. The Horn of Africa country remains without a functioning government after two decades of civil strife. The UN Security Council has travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to encourage Somali politicians to talk and sort out their problems.  Jocelyne Sambira has more.

SFX gun shots In the Somali capital of Mogadishu, gun fire and heavy artillery are now a part of everyday life.

The city has become a battleground where Al Shabaab rebels fight with government soldiers for control. 

With the help of the African Union mission, government soldiers have recently gained ground against the rebels. 

SFX  sharing intelligence 

They share information 

SFX strategizing 

…and discuss strategies together.

Security has improved for people in Mogadishu as well as major towns in South Central Somalia.

But it has come at a high price for their allies. 

Major General Nathan Mugisha is the AMISOM Force Commander: 

"We decided to take the war to them and liberate the areas which have been harassed, people have been suffering. People now are coming back to their homes. Most of the areas have been liberated and we are going ahead. We have managed to sustain a few casualties, but it's worth it."   

Meanwhile, Somali politicians are meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to try to iron out their differences. 

The President and the Speaker of Parliament have not been on speaking terms for many months, paralyzing the administration. 

The Security Council is in Nairobi to break the political deadlock and get them to agree on a date for elections. 

Mark Lyall Grant the United Kingdom permanent representative at the UN says the Council has given the Somali politicians an ultimatum. 

"Strong messages as I said were given and we made it clear that the international community's support could not be assured whilst the bickering and the in-fighting continued." 

Since 1991, the Horn of Africa country has lacked a fully functioning national government. 

Somalia has many challenges to overcome from piracy, to terrorism and a serious drought that has displaced a third of the population. 

And it is going to need all the help it can get.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’07''

Filed under Today's Features.
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