The international community has called on the parties in Somalia to “resolve their differences” to reach an agreement to pave the way for “credible” and “peaceful” elections, amid increased contacts and opposition to bring positions closer together.
“We call on the leaders of the federal and state governments to seize this opportunity to resolve their differences and reach the necessary compromises to ensure that credible, timely and peaceful elections are held as soon as possible to allow Somalia to move forward,” he said in a statement.
He thus stressed the importance of Wednesday’s summit and emphasized that “this is a Somali-led and Somali-owned dialogue that must resolve all outstanding issues and enable the implementation of the electoral process agreed on September 17.”
“Such an agreement, symbolizing unity, compassion and care for others would demonstrate leadership and concern for the Somali nation and offer a special Ramadan gift to the people of Somalia,” the signatories have said in their statement.
The document was signed by the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the governments of Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States and Djibouti.
Talks between the president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, and the presidents of the regional governments have started this Wednesday after last week’s contacts, in which the leaders of the Puntland and Jubaland regions, highly critical of the president, popularly known as ‘Farmajo’, took part for the first time.
The opposition has asked to address the implementation of the September agreement on the formation of the committee in charge of the elections – whose current composition they reject – as well as aspects related to the security of the process, changes in the leadership of the Army and the Police and a commitment by ‘Farmajo’ to limit his powers.
The opposition demanded at the end of February that the president leave power because his mandate ended without elections being held and accused him of “not wanting to hold free and fair elections”, before reiterating their demands for an investigation into the repression of the protests of February 19, which resulted in ten deaths.