Turkey concerned by political developments in Somalia: ministry

Published: February 22, 2021

Turkey is concerned about the recent negative developments arising from the dispute over the election process in Somalia, Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

“It is important that all parties act with common sense by avoiding steps that may lead to violence, and that the Federal Government and Federal Member States’ Leaders come together and try to resolve disputes with an inclusive and constructive dialogue on the basis of the agreement on 17 September 2020, ” the statement read.

The statement added that Turkey believes that the |friendly and brotherly people of Somalia| have the will and political maturity to determine their own future.

“In this context, we hope that a consensus will be reached on the election process, on the basis of mutual understanding without further delay, ” it said.

Somalia’s president faced a leadership crisis at the beginning of February as his term ended with no clear path toward elections, and an alliance of opposition parties declared they no longer recognized his authority.

The opposition alliance urged President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, to “respect the constitution” by standing aside and allowing for a peaceful transfer of power.

The Horn of Africa nation was supposed to choose the next president on Feb. 8 but the deadline was missed as the central government and federal states failed to break a deadlock over how to proceed with a vote. The country now confronts a constitutional crisis alongside a violent extremist insurgency, a locust invasion and serious food shortages.

Blame game

Farmajo and the leaders of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous federal states reached an agreement in September that paved the way for indirect parliamentary and presidential elections in late 2020 and early 2021.

But it fell apart as squabbles erupted over how to conduct the vote, and last-minute talks to salvage the agreement collapsed Friday.

Jubaland, one of the regions at odds with Mogadishu, accused Farmajo of refusing their attempts at compromise. The president blamed his rivals for reneging on the terms.

Somalia’s foreign backers urged the country’s divided political leadership “to resume their dialogue urgently” so that elections can take place as soon as possible.

“We believe that it remains possible to reach consensus, and that all sides are open to further discussions, ” the United Nations, African Union and other international partners said in a statement Monday.

Any attempt at partial or parallel elections would not be supported by the international community, the statement continued.

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