U.S Senator warns of ‘risk of bloodshed’ in Somalia over electoral deadlock
Source: Hiiraan Online, Wednesday February 10, 2021
MOGADISHU (HOL) – The U.S Foreign Relations Committee has raised a red flag over possible violence in Somalia following failure by the country’s leadership to agree on elections.
Committee chairman Senator Bob Menendez said Tuesday in a statement Somalia was staring at possible conflict should the electoral impasse persist.dlock,” Menendez said.
The U.S. senator added that failure by President Mohamed Farmaajo and opposition to reach a deal ‘threatens the Somali people’s hard-fought political and economic gains over the last decade, placing the broader stability of the country in grave jeopardy.’
Recognizing Al Shabaab will seek any opportunity to exploit political chaos to further its campaign of terror, I call on all parties to immediately disengage from the politics of personal gain and resolve their remaining disagreements on the conduct of elections without delay,”
Senator Menendez added. His remarks follow similar concerns by the State Department, which has also called for immediate talks.
Ned Price, the United States Department of State spokesman, opened the department’s daily press briefing on Tuesday with a brief statement on Somalia. Price said the U.S. government remains concerned about the lack of an electoral agreement on Somalia and urged leaders to find a pathway to immediate elections.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the absence of an election implementation agreement in Somalia. While this is an issue for Somalis to resolve, the United States views immediate elections as critical to Somalia’s future. Consensus can be reached. We call on Somalia’s leaders to resume their dialogue urgently so that national elections can take place now. The impasse hinders pressing reform and counterterrorism efforts, and continued delays will only increase the risk of instability.”
Price reiterated that the U.S. would not endorse parallel or partial elections or violence.
“It is the responsibility and the duty of national and regional leaders to act in the interests of the people of Somalia, who, of course, deserve the best from their leaders. Partial, parallel, or alternative election processes, including prolonged interim governing arrangements, would increase prospects for instability and be a major setback for Somalia. The United States opposes the use of violence by any party. We remain committed to the development of democracy in Somalia, and we want Somalis to enjoy the long-term stability, prosperity, and peace they deserve.”