The convergence of military and political progress in Somalia has created a window of opportunity to fundamentally change Somalia’s trajectory. Over the last three years, Somali security forces, supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), drove al-Shabaab out of major cities and towns. In August 2012, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) concluded its work, adopted an interim constitution, and handed power to a new president, new parliament, and new prime minister. On January 17, 2013, the United States formally recognized the new Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) as an acknowledgement of the recent political and security gains. More recently, the FGS and the international community have begun building a partnership to achieve mutually established state-building and peacebuilding goals through the framework of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.
The people of Somalia are responsible, first and foremost, for Somalia’s recent transformation. Assisting Somalis in the reestablishment of viable governance institutions is essential to support post-transition efforts, alleviate humanitarian suffering there and in neighboring countries, and reduce the appeal of extremism and piracy. U.S. assistance therefore aims to help develop a stable government, ensure Somalia is not a safe-haven for terrorists, respond to and mitigate humanitarian crises, combat piracy, and prevent instability in Somalia from destabilizing the region. CSO is contributing to these efforts through the U.S. Special Representative for Somalia by providing guidance on stabilization programming in newly liberated areas of Somalia. To that end, CSO staff provides technical assistance on stabilization interventions and travels regularly to Mogadishu, as security permits, to work with the government’s senior advisors for stabilization activities. In June 2013, the FGS approved a policy framework for stabilization that defined five national priority programs, which are expected to be launched and implemented soon. These programs have been extensively highlighted in discussions regarding the New Deal Compact. CSO staff also helps coordinate multiple sources of international funds dedicated to newly recovered areas. Some of these programs are focused on community-driven projects, local reconciliation, reintegration of disengaged fighters and at-risk youth, and local alternative dispute resolution systems as an informal justice mechanism.