MOGADISHU, 20 April 2021 – The president of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmaajo” Mohamed has urged the African Union (AU) to help resolve the election deadlock in his country.
The invitation for the AU to get involved came Tuesday as Farmaajo visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) whose president, Felix Tshisekedi holds the rotating chair of the continental body.
Last week, Farmaajo signed into law an extension of his term of office for another two years pending the organization of elections.
The AU condemned the extension decided by parliament even as Farmaajo welcomed and embraced it.
The Somali opposition and some of the most important Somali regional states have rejected the extension, insisting for elections to hold as soon as possible.
Former prime minister, Hassan Ali Khayre, is among the most outspoken opponents of the extension.
Speaking during his visit to DR Congo, President Farmaajo said he believes that the Somali federal government, which he leads, and leaders of both the opposition and of the country’s autonomous regions will participate in AU-led talks aimed at organizing free and fair elections.
Two weeks ago, leaders of the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, Canada, and the United States encouraged Somali leaders to compromise in order to organize elections as soon as possible.
Farmaajo’s term expired last February 8 but the federal government, the opposition, and leaders of the country’s regional states remain bitterly divided over how to proceed with the organization of fresh elections.