UNSC Calls on Somali Leaders to Resume Talks and Agree on Election Date

Somali president met the parliament speakers Tuesday in Villa Somalia to discuss elections which its date is yet to be announced. (Photo Credit: Villa Somalia)

The United Nations Security Council called on Somalia’s political leaders Tuesday to resume talks and agree on a plan to hold elections as soon as possible.

“The members of the Security Council called for Somalia’s leaders to resume their dialogue urgently and work together, in the interests of the people of Somalia, to reach consensus on the arrangements for the conduct of inclusive elections with a view to holding them as soon as possible,” Representative to the United Nations, Barbara Woodward said Tuesday following consultations on the situation in the country​​​.

The Security Council welcomed the announcement of further talks scheduled for February 15.

The semi-autonomous Somali region of Puntland has welcomed President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo’s announcement of the restart of talks to resolve the stalemate over the parliamentary and presidential elections. The regional state said the meeting venue should be changed from its administrative capital Garowe to Mogadishu since it was not consulted over the venue.

Jubaland federal state led by Ahmed Madobe and the senate speaker Abdi Hashi supports Puntland suggestion of holding the meeting in Mogadishu.

Puntland said it does not recognize Farmaajo as president since his term in office expired on February 8.

President farmaajo, addressing the parliament Saturday, blamed unnamed “foreign interventions” for the failure of the talks in Dhusamareeb.

The president accused Puntland and Jubaland regional states of refusing to support the September 17 election agreement.

Somali opposition groups demand the government to disband the electoral committee appointed to conduct the parliamentary and presidential poll. The group also demand the Mogadishu government to hand in the security and electoral management of the Gedo region in the Jubaland federal state and that of Somaliland.

Last month, the U.N. Special Representative for Somalia James Swan said Somali leaders do not trust each other.

“I think more broadly, sadly, there is a current climate of mistrust among many of Somalia’s top political leaders and the challenge some degree is to how to overcome that mistrust at this time and allow everyone to move forward together.”

The September 17 election agreement stipulates 101 clan delegates to vote for each parliamentary seat and the election to be held in two locations in each of the five federal member states.