The UN envoy has called on Somalia’s new leaders to address urgent issues

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UNITED NATIONS – The UN envoy to Somalia on Monday called on the country to work for the election of a new president and national reconciliation last week, to improve relations between the central government and the states, and to counter the growing threat posed by the al-Shabab extremist group.

James Swann last week called the end of Somalia’s “unnecessarily long and controversial” electoral process “a major milestone for the country” and told the UN Security Council that it was time for leaders to address these and other pressures.

The envoy said he had met with Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, three days after his May 15 election to hear about his goals. These include a constitutional review and judicial reform, completion of electoral law, ensuring compliance with debt relief conditions, and urgent attention to the “terrible drought.”

Calling it a “moment of opportunity”, Swann said the entire UN system in Somalia was ready to work with the new government to support those goals.

The election of Mohammed, who served as Somalia’s president in 2012-2017, marks the end of a long-delayed electoral process. Political tensions and security concerns escalated in February 2021 after President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed’s mandate expired without a successor.

Mohammad Abdullahi defeated Mohammad in a secret ballot of members of both houses of parliament.

The Horn of Africa has never had a president elected for two consecutive terms, with rival factions vying for political power. And no former Somali president has ever returned to office successfully before Mohammed’s election.

Over the past few years, Somalia has begun to find its position due to fighting and violence between militants over the rise of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group and the Islamic State-linked extremist group.

Swann described the current security situation in the country as “extremely volatile”, saying al-Shabab had been fueled by internal political tensions and had carried out attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, the southwestern state and Hirschhabel in recent months.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an order the day after Mohammed’s election to deploy hundreds of U.S. troops to Somalia to counter al-Shabab, considered the largest and richest ally of the al-Qaeda extremist organization. U.S. military leaders say President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from the country at the end of his term has hampered efforts.

The special envoy of the African Union, Francisco Madeira, told the council that in his election manifesto, Somalia’s new president “emphasized the need to liberate the country from al-Shabab”, opened up major supply routes and ensured that security forces did not intervene. Politics

The peaceful transfer of power creates the conditions for a national political dialogue to progress and deepen reconciliation, Madeira said in a video briefing. He added that he was satisfied that the new administration was already involving regional leaders on important national issues.

“The door is now open to write a new chapter in Somalia’s history,” Madeira told the newly elected parliament and president.

He said the Somali people have a chance to reconcile themselves, end the war and bring peace to the country, promote its economic development and “restore Somalia to its former glory and beyond.”

Swann warned, however, that after the failure of the fourth consecutive monsoon season, Somalia is facing another important problem, the humanitarian situation.

He said 6.1 million people were now affected by the drought and six communities were at risk of starvation if food prices continued to rise and humanitarian aid stopped.

He called for emergency contributions, saying only about 15% of the UN’s humanitarian appeal for সোম 1.45 billion had been funded for Somalia almost halfway through the year.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says after more than four years of political conflict, reunification between the new government and the states is vital to tackling serious challenges. He said al-Shabab’s “terrible threat” included confronting, which meant “eliminating the horrific humanitarian situation that fuels extremism.”

He urged the new government and the international community to ensure that Somalis do not go hungry or thirsty, warning that Russia’s war against Ukraine could push the country “on the brink of famine” if it prevents wheat and other food from reaching it. Somalia.

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