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AU, UN chiefs call on Somali leaders to overcome political hurdles to inclusive elections

Wednesday February 17, 2021

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R, Front) and African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat (L, Front) attend a joint press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, on May 6, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged Somali leaders to resume dialogue so as to overcome the last political hurdles to inclusive elections.

Mahamat and Guterres "call on Somali leaders to resume dialogue and work in a spirit of compromise to overcome the last political hurdles to inclusive elections as soon as possible and to respect the agreement they reached on Sept. 17, 2020," an AU statement on Tuesday read.

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The AU Commission Chairperson and the UN Secretary-General also reiterated their joint commitment to continue to support the government and people of Somalia on their path to peace and prosperity.

They also commended the people and leaders of Somalia for progress achieved in recent years towards the stabilization of the country.

"The hard-won gains are a testimony to the firm determination of the people of Somalia towards lasting peace and prosperity, following decades of instability," the statement read.

Failure to resolve the electoral impasse has plunged Somalia into a political crisis since President Mohamed Farmajo's term ended on Feb. 8 while the four-year term of parliament ended on Dec. 27, 2020.

Last week, amid the ongoing electoral impasse, Mahamat urged Somali parties involved to work constructively together to resolve political differences that have led to the present electoral and political stalemate.

Noting that the stability of Somalia "is at stake," Mahamat called on all Somali stakeholders to put national interest first and constructively seek solutions to their differences through dialogue and compromise.


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