Somali Leaders Resume Critical Elections Talks

A summit involving leaders of Somalia's political factions unde rway in Mogadishu is welcome relief after months of escalating tension, according to James Swan, UN Special Representative for Somalia and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Swan has told the UN that "without such an agreement, and the goodwill and sincerity to implement it, the gains which have been made in recent years may be reversed, risking further instability and insecurity".

Talks between Somalia's federal government and the leaders of its federal member States, which began in March, broke down in early April. The House of the People of the Somali Parliament then adopted a "special law" abandoning a landmark electoral agreement reached on 17 September 2020, extending the mandates of current office-holders for up to two more years. Opposition to these moves led to the mobilization of militias and exposed divisions within Somali security forces. This led to violent clashes on 25 April, that risked escalating into a broader conflict.

After holding talks with three regional states, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has announced that elections will go forward, despite strong dissent among the country's leaders.

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