IGAD calls for dialogue in Somalia as leaders at loggerheads over election


DJIBOUTI - Regional security and development giant; Intergovernmental Authority and Development [IGAD] has called for dialogue in Somalia, a move yet again deals a blow to outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, whose term expired on Feb 8.

The political impasse in Somalia has almost threatened to plunge the country into a state of chaos, something which could derail achievements that have been made by several stakeholders among them the international community.

In one of the unlikely events, the Lower House extended the president's term for two more years, a move which has been opposed by the Upper House, which insists that the house went beyond its jurisdictions. The move has also been condemned by the international community.

And in a statement on Wednesday, IGAD asked both parties to return to the negotiating table, arguing that they should think of pushing for constructive dialogue instead of putting the country in a state of limbo, which may escalate political tensions.

"IGAD encourages all stakeholders to give the new initiative a chance and reengage in an open, frank, and constructive dialogue in the best interest of the people of Somalia with the view of unlocking political impasse," read the communique.

The regional body also asked political leaders to be careful about the sake of the stability of the country. The leadership, it said, should ensure any plan for confrontation is thwarted for the sake of peace and stability.

"IGAD encourages all Somali leaders to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from actions that will further escalate tensions or lead to confrontations. IGAD urges all stakeholders to prioritize dialogue in their political aspirations," it read.

Farmajo has asked the Africa Union to mediate the crisis but he still insists his administration is ready to hold direct polls. But the other team wants Somalia's leadership to implement September 17 pre-election deal.


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