UNbacked international forum delivers roadmap for Somalias future

“We commend the commitments made at the High-Level Partnership Forum to deliver a transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016, to strengthen security and to accelerate the delivery of concrete results to the people of Somalia,” they said in a joint press statement issued today.The statement by the UN, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, follows the two-day forum held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, last week.Co-hosted by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, the forum reviewed the country’s progress in political, security and economic sectors.The press statement noted that the commitment to immediately start a national consultation to agree on an electoral process for a timely transfer of public office in 2016 is a positive step.“We also agree that the 2016 electoral process, based on inclusive consultations in the coming months, must represent an improvement on the 2012 process and be a steppingstone toward universal ‘one person, one vote’ elections,” it added.Somalia’s international partners will follow progress closely and will make decisive efforts to help the people of the country meet these deadlines.“Most immediately, we welcome the commitment to finalise by 15 August a detailed action plan for the national consultations on the 2016 electoral process,” said the statement, adding that such a plan should reflect the views of all stakeholders, in particular the Federal Parliament and the authorities in all the regional administrations.“We urge all parties to engage seriously and urgently in finalizing this work and then to play a full role in the national consultative process.”“Somalia’s international partners stated their resolve to the timely implementation of the commitments taken and agreements reached and to continue to support the goal of a united, federal and democratic Somalia, at peace with itself and the rest of the world,” said the statement.Last week, the Security Council authorized the Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment of AMISOM until 30 May 2016, and extended the mandate of the UN Special Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until 30 March 2016, underlining the importance of both missions strengthening their relationship to ensure support for the country’s political process. read more

Clifftop residents refuse to leave their homes as Council warn they could

A garden shed and an oil tank plummeted into the sea after days of high winds and waves eroded the sandstone.Homeowner Stephen Chadwick said when the cliff fell it was like an “earthquake”.”I bought it for sea views, beautiful sea views, and now the sea’s taking it away,” he told the BBC.”I woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee at half past seven and I felt … it was like an earthquake, and the cliff just went.” Building control surveyors on Hemsby beach in front of houses The Environment Agency declared an amber flood warning for that part of the Norfolk coast and the Met Office forecast rain and issued a yellow weather warning.The council added that “residents chose not to relocate to the rest centre, which had been set up in case it was needed.”In March some residents to the east of The Marrams were forced to flee their homes after part of the cliff gave way during the so-called ‘mini Beast from the East’. Tidal surges in 2013 saw three homes in the area fall into the sea Credit:DARREN STAPLES/Reuters The Council has condemned the properties as dangerous and said demolition work will take place as soon as it is safe and practically possible to do so on the east side.Deputy council leader Carl Smith said: “Following the storm in March, when the initial properties were lost, it was a sad inevitability that the loss of more cliff material would take place at some time and leave further properties in a dangerous condition.”Unfortunately, in these unusual circumstances, demolition is the only option to ensure public safety, which is the top priority.”Tidal surges in 2013 saw three homes in the area fall into the sea and a further seven homes badly damaged.Despite a bid for £2.3m for government funded flood defences, residents failed to secure funding. But in 2015 residents raised enough money for partial sea defences of honeycombed concrete blocks to be installed in the dunes. Tidal surges in 2013 saw three homes in the area fall into the sea  Residents living at the top of a cliff have refused to evacuate to a rescue centre after it was feared their homes could collapse into the sea.Great Yarmouth Borough Council has handed out “precautionary” advice for residents living in 30 chalets to the west of The Marrams in Hemsby to evacuate after the dunes eroded some 16ft (5m) in the past 12 to 24 hours.Residents were told they could move to a rest centre until the high tide had passed.”This is a purely precautionary measure, taken in light of the risk posed through further loss of cliff material,” a council spokesman said.”Officials will continue to monitor the road and incoming tide throughout the evening,” he added.Police officers and lifeboat crew visited the properties on behalf of the borough council to advise residents to move their vehicles to the Marrams car park. In March a number of properties were lost after bad weatherCredit:Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more