By Joseph Kubeka –
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, urged on Somali political leaders on Sunday to avoid political strife that could jeopardize the country’s progress.
Mohammed, who paid a one-day visit to Mogadishu, said Somalia’s ongoing electoral process had gained significant momentum, and he urged the country’s authorities to de-escalate political tensions.
“I was encouraged to hear commitments from everyone I met with to ensure that this momentum is maintained and that vital elections are held on time,” said the UN official, who also met with President Mohamed Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.
“I have faith in Somalia’s leadership to de-escalate any tensions and avoid actions that could lead to bloodshed, further postpone the polls, or jeopardize their credibility,” she added.
Somalia is currently hosting Upper House elections and preparing to undertake Lower House elections.
International partners have been active in assisting national efforts to move the country’s elections forward.
During his visit, Mohammed voiced his support for Somali women’s demands for full and equal involvement in political life, as well as the international community’s support for timely, inclusive, peaceful, and legitimate elections.
She emphasized that women’s full inclusion in all sectors of society will lead to better resilience, peace, and stability, and that the country’s parliamentary elections are an opportunity to build on advances made in women’s political participation.
“With 24 percent of parliamentary seats filled by women in Somalia’s most recent elections in 2016/17, I am hopeful that the country will build on this by expanding women’s participation even further ensuring the 30% quota is met is an important first step toward full representation and an inclusive society.
Without women, the peace dividend will not be realized “Mohammed stated his opinion.