G7 Threatens to Change ‘Approach to Somalia’ if Political Stakeholders Fail to End Election Standoff

Somalia

LONDON (Somaliguardian) – G7 foreign ministers said they were “deeply concerned” about the political impasse in Somalia and the recent violent clashes between the government and opposition-aligned forces, just hours after a deal has been signed in Mogadishu to withdraw army mutineers from the capital within 48 hours.

“We were dismayed by the decision to extend the mandates of Mohamed Farmajo as President and of the Somali Parliament by two years which is not a solution to the ongoing impasse on the electoral process,” G7 foreign ministers said in a statement.

They stated that the term extension “undermines the credibility of Somalia’s leaders, threatens the progress of Somali institutions, and risks the safety and future of the Somali people” and welcomed parliament’s endorsement of a resumption of talks between the federal government and regional states aimed at ending a deadlock over elections.

“We underline our opposition to any further initiatives leading to an extension of prior mandates without broad support from Somali stakeholders and oppose any parallel processes or partial elections,” statement reads.

The Group of Seven countries urged Somalia’s leaders to show restraint and refrain from any further unilateral actions that could further escalate political tensions. They say it is “vital that all parties remain calm and protect Somalia’s stability and security”.

“We welcome the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to appoint a Special Envoy and we stand ready to support these efforts. We urge Somalia’s leaders to uphold their responsibilities to the people of Somalia by returning to talks immediately. We ask that they engage in constructive dialogue, find practical solutions and reach consensus on remaining issues,”G7 statement adds.

“Failure to do so will lead the international community to change its approach to Somalia.”

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