UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 16 (UPI) — All authorities in Somalia are called on to take part in a September meeting to chart a road map for the country’s future, the U.N. Security Council said.
A September conference planned in Somalia is expected to develop “clear timelines and benchmarks” to be carried out by the transitional authority in the war-torn country, the Security Council said.
Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central government since the 1990s and much of the country is controlled by al-Qaida’s affiliate al-Shabaab. The militant group has moved from key positions in Mogadishu, however, and the Security Council urged transitional authorities to take advantage of the situation.
The Security Council noted the government in Mogadishu could focus on getting basic services to the people. Much of the Horn of Africa is in drought that’s expected to last the rest of year, sparking famine alerts across the region.
The United Nations says grain and milk prices in the Horn of Africa have hit record highs, worsening the hardship.
In Somalia, where sorghum and maize are domestically produced, prices have begun to decline somewhat but are 150 percent to 200 percent higher than in July 2010.