Somalia approaching "critical phase" but has nonetheless progressed

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Suspected al-Shabaab militants wait to be taken for interogation during a joint night operation by the Somali security services and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in Mogadishu. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Somalia is approaching what has been described as a "critical phase" in a number of areas but has seen some improvement, according to the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative in Somalia.

Nicolas Kay on Thursday briefed the Security Council by teleconference on the priorities, progress and challenges since the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia started its work in June 2013.

The country is emerging from decades of fighting between rival warlords, and has been ill-equipped to deal with natural disasters such as drought.

Mr Kay said 2014 will be a critical year for the country's future.

"I fear that Somalia is approaching a critical phase in a number of areas. I am concerned that the current political crisis in Mogadishu, which includes a call by over a hundred members of parliament for the President to resign, could herald a return to the cycle of deadlock and infighting between Somalia's political institutions that has paralysed governments since 2000."

Mr Kay also described the incidence of gender-based violence in Somalia as "unacceptably" high.

He nonetheless added that despite setbacks and disappointments, Somalia has made political, economic, and security progress in the last 12  months.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″


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