Somalia / by Michelle Ryan

National and regional leaders have finally agreed on the electoral format, which increases the prospects of smooth transition of power in a country that has already experienced extensive periods of civil division and strife. International community also appears to be giving an affirmative assessment to the ongoing developments - a sentiment that was most noticeable in the recent statement made by the United Nations (UN) official, which declared Somalia no longer a failed state and now a country with promising outlook. However, security situation is still fragile and Somali army is not yet fully equipped to deal with the militant Islamist group of al-Shabab. On this account, Italian army chief paid a visit to the country's top army officials and promised greater assistance in the build of Somali defense forces. According to the governor of Hiraan region, upgrade of the country's defense capabilities represents a key necessity without which no future progress can be safeguarded from the troubles of 'radicals' and 'zealots'.