Clinton to Urge Somali Leaders to Complete Transition

Posted August 4th, 2012 at 1:20 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Kenya to urge Somali leaders to complete a political transition to a new government on schedule.

Clinton is to meet Saturday with the president of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The transitional government is set to end August 20, when the U.N. 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.

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.

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.

Also Friday, Clinton met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala and 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 on her 11-day tour of Africa.