Somali gov`t rejects UN efforts to hold elections

Somalia`s government on Friday rejected the outcome of a UN-backed meeting on the Horn of Africa nation that called for the ouster of the current leadership to prepare the country for new elections.

Updated: Apr 14, 2011, 23:19 PM IST

Nairobi: Somalia`s government on Friday
rejected the outcome of a UN-backed meeting on the Horn of
Africa nation that called for the ouster of the current
leadership to prepare the country for new elections.

The two-day gathering was aimed at working out how
Somalia can navigate through an upcoming transitional period.
The mandate of the Mogadishu government expires in August, and
the government`s international backers are demanding that new
elections be held.

"That meeting was fruitless and did not meet what was
expected of it," said a statement from the Somali government
Cabinet. "It was not representing the desires of the Somali
people."

The response underscores the tension between the UN
envoy on Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, and Somali President Sheik
Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

Ahmed`s administration was angered that the meeting,
held this week in Kenya`s capital, Nairobi, was attended by so
many officials opposed to a term extension for Ahmed`s
government.

Some two dozen international observers, including the
US, UK, EU, African Union and the League of Arab States, were
also in attendance.

Mahiga said yesterday after winding up the high-level
meeting that "there is still room to discuss" the government`s
position on how it wants to end its term.

Mahiga said it was not up to the UN or international
community to extend the government`s term, but that Somalia`s
parliament could do so.

PTI