UNSC welcomes Somali agreement on prompt elections

By Monitoring Desk
Sunday – May 30, 2021
NEW YORK (United States): The United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) welcomed the agreement reached on Thursday by the Somali federal government and the federal member states leaders on the implementation of the September 17 electoral model; the 15 members of the council, on Friday, commended the country’s leaders for putting first “Somalia’s stability, security and development, and the best interests of the Somali people”.

According to a press release, the agreement, that will allow elections within 60 days, was an outcome of the summit convened by Somali prime minister (PM) Mohamed Hussein Roble, after months of escalating tension between the political factions in Somalia.

The members of the UNSC welcomed the commitment to “hold peaceful, transparent, inclusive, and credible elections, which respect the agreed-upon minimum 30 percent women’s quota in parliament”.

The peace and security body also encouraged Somalia’s leaders to maintain this positive momentum so that elections can take place as agreed.

They also urged all parties to continue to engage openly and constructively so that any problems during the implementation phase can be resolved quickly and welcomed the agreement to establish a peaceful dispute resolution mechanism to enable this.

Under the September 17 electoral model agreed in 2020 between the federal government and the leaders of the federal member states, verified clan elders will elect a parliament, which then will elect a president.

The parliamentary elections were scheduled for December but then delayed.

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 the landmark agreement and extending the mandates of current office-holders for up to two more years.

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

“Since then, Somalia has come back from the brink of this worst-case scenario,” UN special representative for Somalia James Swan said earlier this week, recalling that the house of the people reversed its special law on May 1 under intense pressure, finally easing tensions.

The UN secretary general (UN-SG) Antonio Guterres also welcomed the newest agreement between Somali leaders, urging all stakeholders to swiftly implement the new agreement as a “critical step toward the holding of a consensual and transparent electoral process without further delays”.

The council members commended the support provided by the UN mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the African union mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

They expressed their full backing for both missions as the country prepares for elections, implements the roadmap outlined in the appendix to the May 27 communique, and works to deliver the transition to Somali-led security, as called for in UNSC resolution 2568.

Finally, the members of the UNSC reaffirmed their respect for the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity, and unity of Somalia.