Somalia

Int’l partners worry that Somalia is no closer to polls one year after electoral agreement

The international community is alarmed that Somalia’s current constitutional crisis that has paralyzed that national executive will hinder efforts at organizing federal elections.

“As Somalis mark the one-year anniversary of the 17 September Agreement, international partners are increasingly alarmed that the escalating dispute between the President and Prime Minister will undermine Somalia’s stability and derail the electoral process.”

Last year, President Farmajo and Somalia’s Federal Member States leaders reached a historic electoral agreement after a weeklong negotiation process. The deal, which came to be known as the ‘September 17 agreement’, was the culmination of three previous consultation meetings in Dhusamareb and solidified the government’s intent to ditch the one-person-one-vote model for a more feasible indirect election similar to the ones held in 2012 and 2017.

 

Since early September, the PM and the President have been locked in a public power struggle. The international community reiterated their call to Somalia’s leaders to resolve this crisis internally and continue the electoral process immediately.

The latest salvo was launched by the President’s office on Friday, accusing the Djibouti government of illegally detaining his embattled former spy chief Fahad Yasin.

“We urge the President and Prime Minister to resolve their differences immediately, avoid further unhelpful exchanges of public statements and personnel announcements, refrain from any action that could destabilize the security situation, and re-focus on concluding the overdue elections without further delay.”

Somalia’s international partners have steadfastly supported the September 17 agreement, warning on several occasions that it would not support any term extensions or parallel processes from the Farmajo administration or opposition candidates.

The joint statement comes as the UN Security Council met in New York on Friday morning for closed consultations to discuss the latest developments in Somalia at the request of the United Kingdom.

The Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, Amb. Barbara Woodward and UN Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, told the Council that the current political stalemate is a distraction from Somalia’s primary task for 2021, delivering credible indirect elections. They also warned that the current crisis creates room for the militant insurgency group Al-Shabaab to grow, undermining the federal government’s credibility.

The joint statement was signed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Kenya, League of Arab States, Norway, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the United Nations.

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