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Saturday, October 23, 2021

U.S. urges Somalia to hold elections ‘right away’

The United States has expressed “deep” concerns over the electoral deadlock in Somalia, saying it “threatens security, stability, and development” in the country.

In a statement on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken urged all the political actors to sink “narrow political objectives” and hold credible elections right away.

General elections were planned for the Horn of Africa county in 2020, but the exercise was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, famine and other factors.

The polls were scheduled for Feb. 8, but didn’t hold due to disagreement on how the exercise should be conducted.

With the first term of incumbent President Mohamed Mohamed ended on Feb. 16 without a successor, a constitutional crisis had enveloped the fragile state.

A coalition of opposition candidates now consider Mohamed an illegitimate president and were calling for his resignation.

Two regional states had reportedly said they would not participate in any election without an agreement.

“The current impasse undermines progress made to date, delays reforms urgently needed for Somalia to continue on the path to full debt relief and hinders the fight against terrorism.

“We urge Somalia’s leaders to safeguard the country’s future and find agreement to immediately conduct parliamentary and presidential elections,” Blinken said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the United Nations Security Council made a similar call on March 13.

In a resolution, the council also noted that the logjam was a threat to the country’s security and urged the government to organise elections “without delay”.(NAN)

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