U.S. Will Maintain Support for Somalia Through Its Transition

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has congratulated Somalia for staging its first peaceful transfer of power in decades and promised that the United States will stay strong behind the country's move from a failed, war-torn state to a nation with an effective government.

"What has been accomplished has exceeded what many thought was possible. And it's taken a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice, first and foremost from the people of Somalia," Clinton said at the United Nations in New York September 26, 2012. "Now we have to help in the next phase for the people of Somalia, and we look forward, on behalf of the United States, to doing everything we can to make it a success."

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected by the Somali parliament September 10 to replace former President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Clinton praised the former president for his part in making the transition smooth.

The secretary cited three main areas in which the United States will help Somalia in the days ahead:

• Security. The United States strongly supported the African Union mission in Somalia and the Somali national forces, and will focus on sustainable, comprehensive reform in the future. "As more areas are liberated from al-Shabaab, the government will need to establish police forces and courts," she said.

• Stabilization. More than 2 million people in Somalia still need life-saving humanitarian assistance, and hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya need help in returning to their homes. In addition, former al-Shabaab combatants need to be reintegrated in local communities.

• Government transparency and accountability. "We urge the new government to appoint a Cabinet of people who will work to promote the interests of the Somali people and respond to their needs and maintain the confidence of international donors," she said.

See transcript of Clinton's remarks: http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=8325&lang=0



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