MOGADISHU (tf.sf) – TheAfrican Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force commander said Friday he sees no way of managing Somalia’spolitical transition other than by extending the mandate of the transitional government (TFG).
“I don’t see any other alternative than that,” Ugandan Gen.Nathan Mugisha said, referring to a one year extension of the TFG’s mandate.“There is no other option, unfortunately.”
“We cannot interrupt the efforts toward pacification.Stabilization has started … we need partners on the other side, AMISOM can notdo this job alone without the TFG,” he said in an interview at the force’s base.
The mandates of the transitional government and Parliament were both supposed to end in August after an earlier two-year extension. Themandate of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmad was also supposed to end in August.
“The TFG is doing a good job, but they’re facing a lot of challenges, political, security, financial. They have done their best,” Mugisha said.
“The extremists are now disorganized,” he said, referring tothe Al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels, Al-Shabaab, who still control nearly all of south and central Somalia and a large part of the capital.
“They are disadvantaged,” the force commander said,referring to gains made by the government forces and AMISOM over the past month. “Once you disrupt the TFG, then you disempower AMISOM and you’re playing the game of Al-Shabaab.”
Meanwhile, Kenyahas expressed concern over the instability in Somalia as cross-border raids byinsurgents increase and a steady influx of refugees cross the porous frontier.
“Kenya is concerned about the fluid and unpredictable situation in Somalia,”President Mwai Kibaki said during a meeting with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon lateThursday. “I look forward to the U.N. Security Council playing its rightful role in ending the protracted internal strife in Somalia for the sake of millions of innocent people.”