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Somalia’s chance for peace and stability
Daily Nation
Sunday, August 26, 2012

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The eastern African region must ensure that the new government in Somalia will be stable enough to ensure peace and security in the region.

Even as the election of MPs went on the entire week, there were a number of spoilers who do not want Somalia to return to normalcy because they are benefiting from the war economy.

The region should not allow the incoming government to be embroiled again in diversionary tactics that impede the stabilisation of Somalia.

The mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ended on August 20 after eight years of political infighting and widespread violence that prevented it from establishing governance institutions and initiating a national political dialogue.

The 275 members of parliament are to be selected by a group of 135 traditional elders in a United Nations-backed process. These MPs will later elect the speaker and the president.

Despite the delays and some shortcomings, the election is an opportunity for greater peace and stability, which should produce a more representative government. The new MPs must now cut ties with warlords that are an impediment to the restructuring of the Somalia politics.

It is true that the elections are happening at a time when Al-Shabaab has not yet been eradicated. The biggest challenge will be to block Al-Shabaab from regrouping to further cause instability.

The region needs a stable Somalia with functioning institutions to stop insecurity in the region through the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Kenya, for instance, has been suffering from the influx of refugees and terror attacks by Islamic militants and should lead the way in stabilising Somalia after elections.

It is no secret that the outgoing Transitional Federal Government lacked any basic building blocks of government. There is no central bank, judiciary, functioning army or school system.

There is much optimism that the incoming government will not only work to put these institutions in place but will also initiate internal political dialogue on the future of the country, especially the discussion on a new national constitution.

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