UN Envoy Urges Dialogue to Resolve Tensions in Somalia

Increased "brinkmanship, pressure tactics, and tests of strength" are threatening progress in Somalia, the country's UN envoy has told the Security Council. Via videconference, Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission (UNSOM) James Swan urged "all of Somalia's political leaders to pull back from confrontation and avoid risky winner-take-all tactics". He said a political standoff among Somali leaders had blocked an electoral model agreed on by the Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders on September 17, 2020. Tensions have been compounded by questions over the legitimacy of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's mandate following the expiry of his constitutional term in office on February 8, 2021. He said a day of protests on February 19, 2021 by the opposition Council of Presidential Candidates saw several violent incidents reported, including unconfirmed firing of weapons by government forces to disperse protestors along with armed exchanges with opposition supporters.

 

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Members of the Somali National Army (SNA) at a passing-out parade on August 14, 2012, at an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) training facility on the western fringes of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

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