International community urges Somalia’s leaders back to the bargaining table


Mogadishu (HOL) – A statement released on Thursday by the international community urges Somalia’s federal government and regional leaders to continue consultative talks on the electoral process after negotiations broke down on Wednesday.

“International partners are alarmed by public statements made by some officials yesterday suggesting that the closed-door, consultative, ice-breaking meeting of Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders is not making progress. We stress that these talks are central to ensuring implementation of the 17 September electoral model for credible elections, without which the progress of recent years in Somalia’s stability, economic development and institutional reforms will be at risk.”

The joint press statement was signed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union (EU), Finland, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the United Nations.

Somalia’s government places the blame squarely on Puntland and Jubaland for the failed talks, accusing the pair of holding the nation for “ransom.”

Puntland and Jubaland believe that President Farmajo is staying in office illegally since his term expired on February 8th and demanded his recusal from the electoral process so that other stakeholders can have confidence in the outcome.

As the prospect for a settlement fade, the joint statement insists that the September 17 agreement is the only viable path for elections.

“We urge the leaders to return to the talks immediately to reach an agreement, through compromise, on remaining issues. We reiterate that partners will not support a parallel process, partial elections, or new initiatives leading to an extension of prior mandates. We urge all Somali leaders to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any unilateral actions that may cause an escalation of political tensions.”

Somalia’s international partners have met with the Federal Member States and the Federal Government’s leaders several times this month on the sidelines of the national consultative electoral summits. The statement says that they will continue to meet with stakeholders.

“In view of the gravity of the current situation, partners are undertaking urgent consultations with the FGS-FMS meeting participants and other key Somali stakeholders to identify options for quick resolution of this impasse and a rapid return to dialogue.”

Earlier this week, the international community released a statement appealing to Somalia’s leader to resolve the electoral crisis as “a special Ramadan gift to the people of Somalia.”

Somalia fell into a constitutional crisis after its federal mandate expired on February 8 without an agreement to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.