Somalia’s leaders enter agreement to hold crucial lections: Report

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After months of political deadlock, Somalia’s Prime Minister and political leaders have reached an agreement paving the way for elections in the country. During a UN meeting on Tuesday, Somalia’s foreign affairs minister Mohamed Abdirizak said that the agreement will facilitate free and fair elections in Somalia.

“Going forward Somalia needs to have a predictable transition based on elections that is inclusive, credible, free, and fair,” he said.

This development has come days after Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble held a meeting with the leaders of the five semi-autonomous states in Mogadishu to discuss potential ways to curtail the ongoing tensions and conduct elections in the Horn of the African nation.

Foreign Minister Abdirizak further underlined that the political leaders discussed the formation of an election committee to manage the process.

“This is a challenge and opportunity which the Somali people, government and partners must capitalise to ensure sustainable development,” the minister added.

While President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s four-year term expired in February, disagreements among political leaders deferred the conduct of elections in December thereby delaying the formation of a new government as well as the appointment of a new President. In mid-April, the lower house of parliament adopted a “Special Law” and extended the mandate of the President by two years.

With the Senate rejecting the decision, clashes broke out between pro-government forces and opposition military groups in Somalia’s capital.

With no elections in sight, Somalia continues to witness one of its biggest political crises in recent years.

Addressing the 15-nation Security Council, the Foreign Minister noted that official talks are still in progress and an official announcement is expected on Thursday. He further stressed the significance of consensus in establishing peace in Somalia and the robustness of the federal institutions in the country.

“The negotiation process has not been easy,” Abdirizak said.

As per reports, Mogadishu talks are also aimed at resolving prolonging issues regarding the implementation of the September 17 Agreement.

Notably, James Swan, UN Special Representative for Somalia and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), welcomed the “highly positive” negotiations between Somali political leaders to organise the elections. He expressed hope in ending the long-running political crisis in the country.

The UN official affirmed the support of the international community including the African Union and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and other diplomatic partners with ongoing efforts to unify Somali parties and tackle the actions of the Al Shabaab terrorist network.

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