UN envoy lauds formation of regional assembly in South Somalia

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Nicholas Kay has welcomed the Interim Juba Administration’s (IJA) progress towards forming a regional assembly.

Kay said in a statement received on Sunday that the initiatives towards a full state government formation in Juba region in southern Somalia was a positive step towards the federalization process in Somalia.

“I welcome the progress on forming the IJA’s regional assembly, and urge the speedy conclusion of a transparent and inclusive process, in which women and minorities are properly represented,” Kay said.

Juba region in southern Somalia has been one of the central political hot points in the country which has seen local and international partners involved in its formation.

It was formed in 2013 following an agreement between the Federal government of Somalia and the region’s leaders in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Its headquarters Kismayu was a major stronghold of the militant group Al-Shabaab and was liberated in 2012 by Kenya Defence Forces before handing over to the AU backed force AMISOM.

“Ensuring a fair and inclusive process will help build a just and peaceful society for the people of the Juba regions as well as all Somalis,” Kay added.

Kay also called on the IJA administration to engage with other regional administrations and the Federal government to facilitate peace and development in the country.

“Now it is critical to focus on accelerating federalism, the constitutional review and democratization ahead of the end of the Federal Government’s term in 2016,” he said.