US Says Firmly Opposes Use of Violence in Somalia amid Election Unrest

WASHINGTON (Somaliguardian) – The United States said on Monday it “firmly opposes” the use of violence by any party in Somalia as tensions over delayed elections continue to simmer and called on Somali leaders to act swiftly to resolve the political impasse.

“Uncertainty over the elections has stymied the national dialogue on critical political, economic, and security reforms. The eruption of political violence on the streets of Mogadishu last week is the latest indication that, if not resolved soon, Somalia risks regressing deeper into instability,” Acting US representative to the United Nations Richard Mills said.

Mills was speaking at a UN Security council meeting held to discuss the current situation in Somalia and recent violence in the country over delayed elections.

“The United States firmly opposes the use of violence by any party. We call on President Farmaajo and Somalia’s Federal Member State leaders to act swiftly to resolve the political impasse that threatens Somalia’s future and to find agreement to allow the conduct of parliamentary and presidential elections immediately,” he added.

The remarks have come hours after Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo again invited Jubaland and Puntland leaders to a summit that will be held in Mogadishu to end the long-running electoral impasse and agree on recommendations put forward by a technical committee comprised of regional states and the federal government.

“The February 16 Technical Committee recommendations provide a clear framework for resolving the impasse. We urge all political leaders to endorse the recommendations and begin implementation as a matter of urgency,” Richard Mills noted.

“Let me be clear, partial, parallel, or alternative election processes, including prolonged interim governing arrangements, would only further increase prospects for instability and be a major setback for Somalia.”

Somali opposition called for fresh anti-government protests in Mogadishu on Monday in what it says are part of efforts aimed to voice its concerns over Farmajo’s attempt to cling to power after his term expired 15 days ago.

The US now calls for a timely and peaceful political transition and “renewed commitment between the federal government and federal member states to work together” in order to address many tasks facing them.

The leader of north-eastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland Saed Deni accused the Somali leader Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of planning to rule Somalia by a military force and urged Somalis to confront dictatorship, though the federal government has not immediately commented on his remarks.

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