US urged Somalia’s president and prime minister to address their “disagreement” on Monday in order to avoid further delaying the country’s electoral process, which is set to take place on October 10.
In a statement, State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “Cooperation among Somalia’s leaders — particularly President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Roble — is critical to ensuring that the country’s ongoing electoral process is completed promptly.”
“The conflict between President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Roble threatens to derail this process, and it must be resolved quickly and peacefully.”
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo, and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble had a squabble that has raised fears about the country’s stability.
The long-running feud reached a head last week when Farmaajo took away Roble’s executive powers, a move the premier deemed illegal.
Somalia is due to vote for a president on October 10, but the leaders’ spat threatens to imperil the repeatedly delayed poll and distract from efforts to confront a long-running Islamist insurgency.
The months-long delay has “concerned” Washington, Price said, stressing that any further postponement “increases the potential for violence and plays into the hands of al-Shabaab and other extremist groups seeking to destabilize the country.”
The radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab, whose insurgency was unleashed on Somalia in 2007, control large rural areas and regularly carry out attacks in the capital.