US Mulls Sanctions on Somalia’s Government over Term Extension Move

WASHINGTON (Somaliguardian) – The United States said on Tuesday that it was “deeply disappointed” by Somalia federal government’s decision to approve a legislative that extended mandates of parliament and the president by two years, as tensions continue to simmer in the country.

“We have stressed repeatedly that it is vital for the peace, stability, prosperity, and governance of Somalia that the Federal Government and Federal Member States reach a consensus on a way forward for the electoral process. We have also made clear that the United States does not support mandate extensions without broad support from Somalia’s political stakeholders, nor does the United States support parallel or partial electoral processes,” US State Department said in a statement.

It stressed that the president’s approval of the term extension legislative would undermine federalism and political reforms.

“Such actions would be deeply divisive, undermine the federalism process and political reforms that have been at the heart of the country’s progress and partnership with the international community, and divert attention away from countering al-Shabaab. They will also further delay holding the promised elections awaited by the Somali people,” statement reads.

The US Department of State stressed that the bill will pose serious obstacles to dialogue and it compel the Biden administration to reevaluate bilateral ties with the government of Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and to consider available options, including sanctions, and visa restrictions against those involved in the mandate extension move.

“Implementation of this bill will pose serious obstacles to dialogue and further undermine peace and security in Somalia. It will compel the United States to reevaluate our bilateral relations with the Federal Government of Somalia, to include diplomatic engagement and assistance, and to consider all available tools, including sanctions and visa restrictions, to respond to efforts to undermine peace and stability,” it added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet that “the decision to extend the Federal Government’s term undermines further the country’s peace and security” and called on Somalia’s federal and regional leaders “to return to talks and agree to a way forward”.

“The extension of the Federal Government’s term deepens Somalia’s political divide. Leaders should return to talks urgently and resolve the electoral crisis. @AmbMursal @AbdiweliMudey @awed_mahad @M_Farmaajo,” US Bureau of African Affairs tweeted.

The US has added its voice to calls for sanctions on Somalia’s government and parliament if demands to rescind the term extension decision are ignored.

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