UN urges Somali leaders to ‘urgently reach consensus’ on polls
The United Nations Security Council called on Somalia’s federal government and regional states to urgently resume talks and agree on arrangements to hold elections as soon as possible.
A September agreement allows for the president and others to stay in office after Monday’s election date if needed, but UN special representative James Swan has warned that going beyond that day brings “an unpredictable political situation in a country where we certainly don’t need any more of that”.
After a closed virtual briefing by Swan, council members issued a statement welcoming efforts by leaders of the government and regional states to find agreement on implementing the September deal but also expressing concern that talks ended without agreement on Saturday.
“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,” said a statement approved unanimously by the 15-nation UNSC on Tuesday.
It noted the announcement of further talks on February 15.
Estonia’s UN ambassador, Sven Jürgenson, welcomed the new round of talks, saying after the council meeting: “Somali leaders need to overcome the differences, and act in the best interests of the country and the people.”