US Secretary of State discusses Farmajo's term extension with Uhuru
NAIROBI, Kenya - Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State Wednesday held a virtual meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo over the current situation in Somalia, which threatens regional stability.
The US has been against the term extension by outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, whose term expired on Feb 8, and who has been insisting on clinging to power according to his critics. Farmajo was first elected in 2017 for a four-year term.
And in the Tuesday discussion, Blinken expressed disappointments that the current situation in Somalia could make it difficult for the fight against Al-Shabaab, which has been working hard to topple the fragile UN-backed administration.
The Al-Shabaab militants control huge sections of Central and Southern Somalia, and both the US and Kenya have been very instrumental in the fight against the Al-Qaida linked group. The two leaders also talked about the situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, where ENDF troops had waged an operation against TPLF.
"Secretary Blinken underscored the United States’ concern with the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crises in Tigray, including the reports of atrocities, and the threat that the extension of Somali President Farmajo’s term poses to stability in Somalia and the campaign against al-Shabaab," read the statement
"Secretary Blinken noted Kenya’s strong and durable multilateral engagement and welcomed the opportunity to cooperate closely with Kenya on the UN Security Council on matters of international concern."
The statement comes few hours after Farmajo accused "foreign elements" of fuelling the current instability in Somalia, adding that he will "work hard" to contain the situation. Farmajo has been pushing to stay in power by using oppressive means according to his critics.
Also, Kenya and Djibouti have featured in previous Villa Somalia outbursts as "saboteurs" of peace and stability in Somalia. However, it seems Farmajo may have after all dropped his planned term extension by agreeing to address Lower House on Saturday after the matter.
The outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo lost grip of Southwest, Hirshabelle, and Galmadug, which have been supportive of his administration. The three administrations expressed support for the resumption of dialogue.