UN urges Somali leaders to shun political discord

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has urged Somali political leaders to shun acts capable of leading to political discord which may jeopardise the gains made in the country.

Mohammed, who made a day-long visit to Mogadishu, said Somalia had achieved considerable momentum with its ongoing electoral process and urged the leaders to de-escalate the political tension in the country.

“I was encouraged to hear the commitment from all I met with to ensure that this momentum is sustained and that critical elections move forward as scheduled,” said the UN official who also met President Mohamed Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.

“I have confidence in Somalia’s leadership to de-escalate any tensions and avoid activities that could lead to violence and further delay the elections or undermine its credibility,” she added.

Somalia is currently holding elections for its Upper House and is preparing for elections for its Lower House.

The international partners have been heavily engaged in supporting national efforts to advance the country’s elections.

During the visit, Mohammed expressed solidarity with Somali women’s calls for full and equal participation in political life and expressed the support of the international community for timely, inclusive, peaceful, and credible elections.

She highlighted the country’s parliamentary elections as an opportunity to build on the progress made in women’s political participation.

The UN official emphasised that women’s full inclusion in all sectors of society would contribute to greater resilience, peace, and stability.

“Somalia achieved a milestone at its last elections in 2016/17 with 24 percent of parliamentary seats filled by women.

“And I am hopeful that the country will build on this by expanding women’s participation even further.

“Ensuring the 30 per cent quota is met is an important first step to full representation and inclusive society.

“The peace dividend will not happen without women,” Mohammed said. 

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