An assembly of Somali delegates has drafted and overwhelmingly approved a Provisional Constitution for that nation, paving the way for a new government to be established there. The August 1st vote culminated years of work by the Somali people. The United States congratulates them and the National Constituent Assembly in laying the foundation for a new era of governance that is more responsive, representative and accountable.
Somalia has lacked a stable central government for more than 20 years. In 2004, an internationally-recognized transitional federal government was established, with a mandate to restore democratic rule. But it has struggled with division, environmental crises such as drought, an insurgency that has displaced tens of thousands of citizens, and inefficient transitional federal institutions.
Over the last year, however, strong Somali leadership has led to significant progress on completing the transitional tasks and paving the way for a new government. The members of the National Constituent Assembly who met in Mogadishu last week represented the diverse concerns of the nation as they reviewed and ultimately approved the constitutional draft. Despite significant logistical difficulties and political pressure, they worked diligently to help rebuild their country.
This was also done at great personal risk, as suicide bombers twice attempted to disrupt the proceedings. At least six security officers were wounded when one attacker detonated a bomb, and another attacker was shot before he could set off his explosives.
The next step in Somalia's political transition is for the nation's traditional elders to select a new parliament that will elect a speaker and president. The United States urges that these remaining tasks be completed quickly and openly so that the transition ends on schedule later this month. Our support for Somalia and its people will continue beyond the end of the transition. We stand with Somalis on their path toward peace, stability and prosperity.