MOGADISHU, 24 March 2021 – The United Nations, the African Union, and several Western powers have called on Somali leaders to pursue talks until they break the deadlock over delayed elections.
Several European nations joined Canada, the United States, the African Union, and the United Nations in making the calls last Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
In a statement, the UN encouraged Somalia’s political leaders to “show leadership” by pursuing consultative meetings they have been holding until they reach an agreement.
However, the leaders of the semi-autonomous regional states of Jubbaland and Puntland boycotted talks that had been scheduled to hold Monday in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The regional leaders are demanding talks mediated by the international community rather than by the federal government in Mogadishu.
The first term of Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, fondly known as “Farmaajo”, ended last February 8 without the election of a successor, plunging the country into the ongoing crisis.
There are serious disagreements over not only when elections should hold but also on how a new election commission should be set up and managed and over how power should be distributed between federal and regional authorities.
One former regional state of Somalia, Somaliland, declared its independence restored in 1991 and no longer recognizes Mogadishu.
The international community has, so far, not recognized the government in Somaliland, and the UN- and African Union-backed in Mogadishu insists that Somaliland is part of Somalia.