Somalia: UN Officials Welcome Move to Set Up Interim Administration for South-West Somalia

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the top United Nations envoy in Somalia have welcomed the agreement reached to establish a new interim regional administration in the south-western part of the country.

The new Interim South West Administration will comprise the regions of Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle, according to the agreement signed yesterday in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

"The Secretary-General commends all parties involved for their diligent negotiation of this important agreement, and looks forward to its prompt implementation," Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

"He recalls that the formation of inclusive regional administrations is a key milestone in Somalia's path towards a federal system of governance, in line with the Provisional Constitution and the aspirations of the Somali people."

The agreement was also welcomed by Nicholas Kay, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), who congratulated all parties for their commitment to finding a solution through dialogue and negotiation.

"I urge all parties to continue to work closely with the Federal Government and ensure an inclusive administration is established swiftly," he stated in a news release issued on Monday.

Mr. Kay said the agreement is "a significant step forward" in Somalia's progress towards federalism, and will also clear the way for improved security and a more effective campaign against the insurgent group known as Al-Shabaab.

Set up in June 2013, UNSOM is tasked with, among other things, providing UN 'good offices' functions to support peace and reconciliation; assisting the Government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force known as AMISOM with advice on peacebuilding and state-building; and helping build capacity in human rights and the rule of law.

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