The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) issued a statement on Tuesday, together with international partners, strongly condemning an outbreak of violence in the capital, Mogadishu, and urging all parties to “exercise the utmost restraint, resume the dialogue and avoid unilateral actions that could lead to a new escalation ”.
NEW YORK, USA, April 28, 2021, – / African Media Agency (AMA) / – According to media reports, fighting began on Sunday between pro-government forces and opposition military units after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed decided to extend his term last week. , which had officially ended in February, for another two years.
Reports from Mogadishu said localized skirmishes have spread to other parts of the country, and fears are growing that the extremist group al Shabaab could exploit the divisions.
“We have repeatedly warned that the extension of the mandates would lead to a political crisis and undermine peace, stability and security in Somalia,” the statement read.
Signatories to the statement expressed particular alarm at an emerging fragmentation along clan lines of the Somali National Army, saying it detracts from the main task of fighting Al Shabab and protecting the Somali population.
“The use of the security forces to achieve political objectives is unacceptable,” they specified.
Back to agreement
The co-signers reiterated that the agreement of September 17, through which the leaders of the Federal Government and the five Federal Member States approved an indirect electoral model for the next elections in the country, “continues to be the only agreed model for the elections” and on that base, urged that those signatories “immediately return to the talks.”
UNSOM and its international partners welcomed the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to appoint a Special Envoy and recommended that this high-level representative arrive in Mogadishu to begin work as soon as possible.
“We are ready as partners to extend our support to this envoy, and in the meantime we continue efforts to unite the parties,” they said, reaffirming their “respect for the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and independence of Somalia.”
On Monday, the spokesman for Secretary General António Guterres issued a statement of deep concern over the armed clashes and reiterated the UN chief’s call for all Somali fighters to refrain from violently pursuing and resolve their differences through dialogue and commitment.
“The Secretary-General urges all Somali stakeholders to resume negotiations immediately and forge an agreement based on the Electoral Model of September 17 and Baidoa’s proposals,” the statement read.
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