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Closing Ranks In Somalia

Somalia Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke. (file)

Somalia must first pursue effective governance if security and stability are to be achieved.

Somalia's prime minister has stepped down, ending a long running political dispute with President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed but creating new turmoil for the embattled nation's Transitional Federal Government. The president accepted Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmake's resignation praising his decision and promising to name a successor soon.

At this critical time in Somalia's history, the nation's political leaders must close ranks, seek common ground and focus on addressing the many challenges facing their country.

Long-term security and stability in Somalia depend on a stable and effective government. In the current environment, with the nation under attack by a fierce insurgency linked to international terrorist groups, it is more important than ever that Somalis work together.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia is of growing international concern, threatening world trade and the shipment of badly need food and materials to the Somali people, nearly two million of whom will need humanitarian aid this year. Here too, long term security and stability on land are needed to address the root causes of this crisis.

Amid these problems, the United States continues to standby the Somali people. We support the Djbouti Peace Process and call on the Transitional Federal Government to focus on completing the transitional tasks in the spirit of inclusivity envisioned in the Peace Process. Only then can it work effectively for its people and with its international partners to being peace and stability to a country that already has endured far too much.