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World

UN Council calls on Somalia to hold elections immediately

  • "Somalia's electoral process is at a critical stage," Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, told reporters.
Published April 1, 2021

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Wednesday called on authorities in strife-torn Somalia to resolve the electoral "impasse" and hold "inclusive" elections as soon as possible, following a closed-door emergency session on the situation.

In a statement drafted by Britain and adopted unanimously, the 15 Council members "expressed concern" over the ongoing crisis and called on the country's leaders to "convene at the earliest opportunity to resolve outstanding issues."

"They emphasized that it remained in the best interests of all Somalis to ensure that inclusive elections took place as soon as possible," the statement said.

Somalia missed a deadline to hold an election by February 8, when President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, was due to step down, sparking a constitutional crisis in the already fragile state.

Farmajo and Somalia's five regional leaders reached an agreement on September 17 that abandoned a promised one-person, one-vote ballot but offered a common path forward for elections.

But they have been unable to resolve squabbles over how the vote is to be conducted, and a coalition of opposition candidates have now said they no longer recognize Farmajo as president.

"Somalia's electoral process is at a critical stage," Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward, told reporters.

During the closed-door meeting, the UN envoy for Somalia, James Swan, said "the situation regarding Somalia's electoral process requires urgent attention," Woodward added.

She said Britain reiterated its call on Somalia to "swiftly" reach an agreement on moving ahead with the electoral process.

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