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Int'l community calls on Somali leaders to reduce political tensions and focus on elections

Wednesday September 8, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia's international partners worry that the current constitutional crisis is "creating political tensions" and urged its leaders to prioritize the upcoming national elections.

"International partners are concerned that the controversy surrounding the disappearance of Ms. Ikran Tahlil Farah is creating political tensions that could impact on the functioning of the Federal Government of Somalia and disrupt the electoral process."

The signatories called on Somalia's leaders to de-escalate the crisis and avoid any decisions that could potentially lead to bloodshed.

"We urge Somali leaders to de-escalate the political confrontation surrounding this investigation and, in particular, avoid any actions that could lead to violence."

The statement asks Somali stakeholders to refocus their efforts on the electoral process, which has been delayed several times.

We call on Somalia's leaders to work together to advance the implementation of the 27 May Agreement toward the holding of elections, recognizing the progress made to date by the National Consultative Council under the effective leadership of Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

Somalia's latest political crisis was triggered this week when Somalia's intelligence agency - facing mounting pressure from the Somali community - announced that Al-Shabaab killed a female spy that went missing over two months ago. The lack of transparency and information, coupled with the militant group's immediate denial, raised many eyebrows and led the PM to issue a 48-hour ultimatum to Somalia's intelligence chief to produce a report on Saturday- reportedly on the threat of termination.

Just over a day later, Fahad Yasin was suspended as the Director-General of NISA.

On Monday, President Farmajo, fearing his former campaign manager and close confidante would be relegated to the sidelines during the upcoming elections, issued a decree declaring Yasin's dismissal as "illegal and unconstitutional."

The relationship between Somalia's PM and the President has taken a sharp downturn since President Farmajo delegated all election and security responsibilities to PM Roble in May. They have clashed publicly over the powers of the PM, including a high-profile incident where the President directed all government officials not to enter into any agreements both locally and internationally until a new government is elected.

The international community called on Somali leaders to seek a rapid conclusion to this disturbing saga to begin to focus on the parliamentary and presidential elections.

"We continue to engage a wide range of Somali leaders to urge for a rapid resolution of this dispute, including a credible investigation of Ikran's disappearance and the completion of the electoral process without any further delay."

The letter was signed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and the United Nations.


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