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Djibouti Conference

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SOMALIA: UN prepares "post Djibouti" situation

The UN is planning a "post Djibouti" strategy, in the event that some kind of transitional authority may be successfully elected in the peace process and established in Somalia, UN sources told IRIN. According to the sources, UN policy would be dramatically affected if a recognised authority was established in Somalia.

In the absence of a government, the UN has been confined almost exclusively to a presence in the self-declared state of Somaliland, and has run extremely costly operations out of Nairobi - it has been estimated that at least 60% of funding goes on overheads rather than assistance to Somalia.

UNDP Somalia said it was putting together a team of consultants in a technical planning team to build scenarios of post-Djibouti, outline the implications for UN operational agencies and advise on potential future aid structures and operations.

The Country Office, on 7 July, submitted a US$760,000 proposal which included "support for urgent needs to respond to a post-Djibouti scenario". The UN officially supports the process - which has the backing of the Secretary General - but differing views have been expressed within the various UN organisations over the possible outcome and impact of the Djibouti-held conference.

These include fears of increased insecurity in areas where faction leaders have rejected the process.

David Stephen, UN Special Representative for Somalia, told IRIN it would be "unrealistic to expect any elected Somali government to control all of the territory from day one" but that there should be understanding that the process was unique to "an exhausted country without institutions, in a post-conflict, post-state collapse, post-intervention situation".

He said the work of a new government would be "incremental" and would concentrate on a transition to constitutional rule. Meanwhile, the Somali National Peace Conference is behind schedule and "very unlikely" to conclude on 15 July, sources in Djibouti told IRIN.

After agreeing on a new charter, the conference aims to elect a Transitional National Assembly, a prime minister and a president.



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