Clinton to Urge Somali Leaders to Complete Transition

Posted August 3rd, 2012 at 7:35 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Kenya Saturday to urge Somali leaders to complete a political transition to a new government on schedule.

Clinton is to meet with the president of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The transitional government is set to end August 20 when the United Nations mandate for it expires.

In a statement Thursday, following Somalia's adoption of a new provisional constitution, Clinton urged Somali leaders to complete the remaining tasks “quickly and transparently.”

Somali leaders must still select members of the next parliament and elect a new president.

While in Nairobi Saturday, Clinton will also meet with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The State Department says she will emphasize U.S. support for transparent and non-violent presidential elections next year.

Clinton is on an 11-day tour of Africa, with scheduled stops in at least six nations.

While in South Sudan Friday, Clinton urged the country, along with its neighbor, Sudan, to resolve bitter disputes that earlier this year pushed the countries to the brink of war.

VOA correspondent Anne Look, who traveled with the secretary to Juba, says Clinton emphasized the need for the Sudans to reach an agreement on oil revenue sharing.

“She really called for some effective, useful negotiations to arrive at a deal. Because if not, the consequences, the economic consequences for both countries are very serious.”

South Sudan shut down all oil production in January because of a dispute with Sudan on fees charged to use northern pipelines. The move has deprived both countries of much-needed revenue. The two sides clashed along their border in April, raising fears of all-out war.

Also Friday, Clinton met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala. Look says Clinton encouraged Uganda to continue leading efforts to hunt down Lord's Resistance Army fighters in central Africa and to fight Islamist militants in Somalia.

After her stop in Kenya, Clinton is due to visit Malawi and South Africa.

In South Africa, she is scheduled to meet with Nobel peace laureate and former president Nelson Mandela.