World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Somali Leaders Walk ‘Back From The Brink’, Resume Talks On Critical Elections

A summit involving leaders of Somalia’s political factions is underway in Mogadishu, a welcome relief after months of escalating tension, the senior UN official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday, expressing hope that a consensus on electoral plans will be announced imminently.

James Swan, UN Special Representative for Somalia and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), said it is imperative that the summit yield an implementable agreement to hold elections in the shortest time possible.

“Without such an agreement, and the goodwill and sincerity to implement it, the gains which have been made in recent years may be reversed, risking further instability and insecurity”, he warned.

Mounting tensions

Recounting the political impasse over recent weeks, Mr. Swan said the talks between Somalia’s Federal Government and the leaders of its Federal Member States, which began in March, regrettably broke down in early April.

The House of the People of the Somali Parliament then adopted a “Special Law” abandoning a landmark electoral agreement reached on 17 September 2020, extending the mandates of current office-holders for up to two more years.

Opposition to these moves led to the mobilization of militias and exposed divisions within Somali security forces. Violent clashes ensued on 25 April, risking broader conflict.

“Since then, Somalia has come back from the brink of this worst-case scenario”, said Mr. Swan, recalling that the House of the People reversed its Special Law on 1 May under intense pressure, finally easing tensions.

A path forward

Praising Somali leaders who sought consensus and worked to de-escalate the situation in the interest of the Somali people, Mr. Swan said the same spirit of compromise will be crucial going forward.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” has empowered the Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, to lead the Federal Government’s involvement in the electoral process and oversee security arrangements.

Talks at the Mogadishu summit now centre on resolving outstanding issues related to the implementation of the 17 September Agreement and matters related to the upcoming elections.

The United Nations is supporting arrangements for the summit in close coordination with the

African Union, the European Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, and other diplomatic partners.

Security at risk

Mr. Swan urged Somali leaders to find solutions in good faith and demonstrate the leadership required at what he described as an “historic moment” for the country.

The international community has largely stood united behind diplomatic efforts to keep the Somali parties unified and make progress against a more insidious security threat – namely, the Al Shabaab terrorist network.

The group continues to demonstrate resilience and the ability to plan and execute complex attacks across Somalia, including against civilians. Its leaders claimed responsibility for an attack that left five people dead and dozens more wounded at the Hotel Afrik in Mogadishu on 31 January.

Mr. Swan told the Council that it is now crucial for the parties to commit to a clear way forward. “Without this, progress on key national priorities will continue to be hampered, or worse, reversed, in critical areas, including in the security, economic and development sectors,” he warned.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Euro-Med Monitor: Sudan Military Coup Shatters Democratic Path, Threatens With Authoritarian Rule Return
The Sudanese army's seizure of power in the country diminishes the hard-won human rights and civil gains achieved after the December 2018 protests, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement...More>>


Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...
More>>

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>