New York (VNA) – Vietnam called on all involved parties in Somalia to promote dialogues and create conditions for people and political parties to participate in direct one-person one-vote elections, a Vietnamese diplomat told a UN Security Council teleconference on May 21.
Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, voiced his concern over conflicts between Somalia’s Federal Government and regional states, particularly recent clashes in Jubbaland.
Quy condemned terrorist attacks in Somalia and urged the international community and stakeholders to strengthen collective efforts against al-Shabaab militant group to protect civilians, especially women and children.
He said Vietnam supports operation of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) as well as the UN Working Group to help the African country maintain peace, stability and development.
Addressing the event, James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UNSOM Head, said the COVID-19 is not only having the medical and humanitarian effects but also a severe economic blow on Somalia. Even before the pandemic, more than 5 million Somalis required humanitarian assistance while the country is being badly hit by flooding and the worst desert locust infestation in 25 years, he said.
The Government of Somalia projects an 11-percent decline in nominal GDP for 2020, he noted.
This year, the country set to hold the first direct elections since 1969, he continued. “The holding of peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent one-person-one-vote elections would be a historic step in rebuilding Somalia and would assist with the country’s continued democratic development.”
He expressed his concern over evolving al-Shabaab whose terrorist operations continue unabated despite the COVID-19 outbreak, and urged key international partners to continue support Somalia’s security sector in the future.
He expected a commitment to dialogue and cooperation extend to relations between the Somali Federal Government and all of the member sates for the interests of the Somali people.