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U.N. won't extend Somali sanctions

Friday, July 27, 2012

The U.N. Security Council extended parts of the mandate for sanctions imposed on Somalia but said the transition period won't go past Aug. 20.

The interim Somali government started meetings this week aimed at drafting a constitution. There hasn't been a functioning central government in Somalia since the 1990s and the mandate for the interim administration ends Aug. 20.

The U.N. Security Council, in a resolution, called on all parties in the political debate in Somalia to "redouble" efforts to bolster the government, noting the transition period will not be extended.

The resolution, meanwhile, expressed concern about a series of lapses in political development and stressed "the importance of preventing further obstacles to the transition process."

The interim administration has made modest gains over al-Shabaab, a group linked to al-Qaida that controls parts of the country. The resolution decides that parts of an arms embargo placed on Eritrea would remain in place but exempts body armor exported to the country for personal use.

U.S. lawmakers last year said pressure on militant groups inside Somalia should extend beyond conventional law enforcement to include diplomatic pressure on Eritrea.

The Security Council had blamed Eritrea for helping back armed insurgent groups working to destabilize the fragile situation in Somalia.


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