China wades into Somalia’s tectonic politics

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The People’s Republic of China has called for political stability in Somalia, arguing that national unity boosts the participation of women in tough politics, and perhaps increases gender mainstreaming in the country.

Patriarchal society in nature, Somalia has struggled to give women space in politics, further delaying national goals. The Horn of Africa nation is struggling to adopt the 30 percent quota for women leadership even in the ongoing indirect polls.

Dai Bing, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, however, underscored the fact that Somalia is gradually embracing women’s rights and other interests, including convicting those who engage in gender-based violence.

Beijing, the envoy noted, welcomes commitment to increase political space for women in the Horn of Africa nation, adding that there is goodwill to bring more women into the political space. He was addressing the United Nations Security Council.

The international community, he added, should protect the gains made so far in boosting women’s leadership in Somalia. He urged international partners to be patient with the Horn of Africa nation, which is slowly gaining stability.

“Political stability and national unity in Somalia will help create favorable conditions for women’s equal, full and effective participation in political life,” he said which calling for political inclusivity.

The envoy also underscored the possible repercussions of ongoing political wrangles in Somalia. Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble is struggling with outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, following their irreconcilable differences.

Recently, the United Nations Security Council urged Somali leaders to exercise restraint, put the interests of the country and people first, overcome differences through dialogue and consultation, and maintain political security and stability, he said.

“We believe that Somali leaders will heed the voices and wishes of the people and the international community by strengthening unity,” read the statement in connection with political instability in the Horn of Africa nation.

Beijing also encouraged the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the top UN envoy for Somalia to continue their mediation efforts to bring the political situation in Somalia back on track, he said.

To date, there is no definite guarantee that the two leaders will reconcile for the sake of stability, but there has been pressure to work together. The country is also holding the much-needed elections which are currently ongoing.

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