Swan urges Somali leaders to agree on implementation of 17-Sep deal

Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia. James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia.

James Swan, the UN special envoy for Somalia has called on Somalia’s stakeholders to respect the Sept. 17, 2020 agreement by the federal government and leaders of the country´s states on holding elections.

The envoy told the UN security council that the political standoff among key Somali leaders has blocked the implementation of the electoral model agreed by the Federal Government of Somalia President and Federal Member State leaders on 17 September 2020.

‘This model was formally endorsed by both houses of Parliament and supported by all other major political actors, but implementation is in dispute. I will return to this point. Tensions over electoral implementation have now been compounded by questions raised by some political figures over the legitimacy of the president’s mandate following the expiry of his constitutional term on 8 February. The Government cites an October parliamentary resolution permitting the President to remain, but this is contested by others,” Swan told the Security Council.

Swan said public communication from key leaders has become increasingly polemical and confrontational, revealing the frustration, mistrust, and sense of grievance felt by many.

“Meanwhile, on the morning of February 19, a day of protests announced by the opposition Council of Presidential Candidates, several violent incidents were reported. Although full details are unconfirmed, these incidents reportedly included armed exchanges between government security personnel and security teams employed by the opposition, as well as recourse to live fire by government forces to disperse protestors,” he said.

African Union and European Union have also urged the Somali government and opposition to quickly agree on a date for elections.

The blocs warned that the delay is fueling violence and impacting the impoverished Horn of Africa nation´s development and security.

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