The Somali Prime Minister called all United Nations (UN) agencies active in Somalia to relocate into Mogadishu. In a recent press conference, Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed made it clear that there are large gaps in understanding between the UN and the Somali government. He set a ninety-day deadline for UN agencies to be relocated to Somalia.
While many UN agencies are active in Somalia, all are based in Kenya and few have international expatriates living in Somalia. The Prime Minister is requiring the UN to relocate all aid agency headquarters to Mogadishu within ninety days. Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed told journalists that he has built homes for foreign UN employees, further encouraging them to reside in Somalia.
A UN-sponsored meeting between the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and other Somali political groups has been set for April 12 and 13 in Nairobi to discuss future steps in the peace process. The Prime Minister stated that no representative of the Somali government will attend the meeting because they have not taken any part in forming the agenda.
The Prime Minister contacted UN special envoy for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, to request further recognition for their efforts against Al Shabaab thus far. He also expressed that it is unclear to the Somali people where the millions of dollars of UN aid to Somalia are going. The government would like to see precisely where the money is spent in the future and is calling for greater accountability regarding UN budget spending.
Somali analysts say that this deadline incites differences between the TFG and UN agendas. An expert on Somalia, Feisal Roble, explains that the Somali government’s decision not to attend the coming meeting will not have any effect, because the TFG continues to be supported by UN funds.