The East African region and the international community must now start preparing for the reconstruction of Somalia, given that the war against Al Shabaab is almost over and the term of the transitional government is coming to an end in August.

The process of rebuilding Somalia by building schools, hospitals and opening up the country for trade and commerce must begin in earnest after over 20 years of lawlessness. But the process of political transition and the enactment of a new constitution will be the most difficult challenges, needing the support of all interested parties in the region.

It is encouraging that Somali leaders, led by President Sheikh Sariff Ahmed, have agreed on the procedure to end the current Transitional Federal Government’s term in August. The leaders met in Addis Ababa and resolved to begin selecting members of the constituent assembly and seek approval of the draft constitution on June 1.

Yet, between now and August, there remains the difficult task of electing legislators and setting up a new parliament. The same assembly must approve a draft constitution by July. In the past, the international community has been sitting on its hands, hoping the Somali people would come up with their own solutions. But this has not happened in two decades, while it is now evident that recent concerted efforts for positive change in Somalia are bearing fruit.

Also critical was the decision by the European Union to extend its naval counter-piracy operations and further authorising them, for the first time, to combat piracy on land. The region should not let this golden opportunity pass to make a difference in Somalia.

Souce:The East Africa