UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- World leaders need to ensure Somali gains aren't erased, though Mogadishu must take steps to secure its political future, the U.S. secretary of state said.
Al-Shabaab, a militant group aligned with al-Qaida, has lost ground in Somalia as Kenyan forces fight in support of the government in Mogadishu. The United Nations estimates at least 10,000 people have fled the area during recent fighting, however.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on the sidelines of U.N. General Assembly that the international community needs to focus on improving the security situation in Somalia.
"We will maintain our support for the security sector and focus on sustainable and comprehensive reform," she said in a statement.
With security gains comes more political development for a country that's been without a formal central government for roughly 20 years. Somali leaders recently appointed some members of Parliament and elected a president.
Clinton said it was up to the new government to establish a functional police force in order to secure political gains.
"We urge the new government to appoint a Cabinet of people who will work to promote the interests of the Somali people and respond to their needs and maintain the confidence of international donors so future collaboration can continue," she added.