UNSC holds urgent meeting over Somalia's elections crisis
NEW York, USA | The United Nations Security Council [UNSC] on Monday evening held a crisis meeting over the current electoral impasse in Somalia, in what could yet again define the country's future, following a stalemate which was precipitated by the inability for both parties to reach an agreement.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General James Swan and the African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] boss Francisco Madeira briefed the council, which often holds emergency meetings whenever there is a crisis, especially on matters of security and integration.
Earlier, the union of presidential candidates comprising of 15 senior politicians in Somalia had written to the council, urging that outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is investigated and even prevailed upon following skirmishes that rocked Mogadishu on Friday.
In his remarks, Swan observed that the legitimacy of Farmajo following the expiry of his term was a major concern, given that several stakeholders have never appreciated a resolution in parliament that gave him a term extension. Also, the envoy revisited protests in Mogadishu and the use of live bullets, adding that it was not healthy for the country.
He insisted that there is a need for stakeholders to meet and iron out the issues for the sake of the stability of the country, adding that international partners would not allow parallel or partial elections in the country, given the current political turmoil.
"Given this worrying impasse, in recent days I have worked closely, alongside other regional and international partners, to engage FGS and FMS leaders, key political figures, and civil society representatives to urge a way forward based on dialogue and compromise in the national interest.
"The message from partners has been clear that there should be no partial elections, no parallel processes, and no unilateral actions by Somali leaders. Such approaches would only lead to greater division and the risk of confrontation," Swan's speech read.
The international partners, he noted, would push for the implementation of the pre-election deal that was signed on September 17th last year by several stakeholders, arguing that it gives a clear path to elections. The partners insist that the agreement would avert the current electoral impasse
"Let me be clear: I remain convinced that the consensus-based 17 September model offers the best available option to proceed quickly to an electoral process for selection of members of parliament, senators, and the president," he said.
"This would minimize further delays in Somalia’s four-year transition cycle, ensure that the chosen national leaders have a clear mandate and are widely accepted, and allow the country to turn its attention from the current political competition to other vital national priorities in the interest of the people."
On Monday, outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Puntland and Jubaland to attend the ongoing stakeholders meeting, which is only being attended by the leadership of Hirshabelle, Galmadug, and Southwest. The other two states have raised several issues including failure by the regime to acknowledge the lapse of its constitutional mandate.