US leads partners in hailing Somalia’s pre-election political pact

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The United States has termed the recent electoral pact in Somalia as “timely” just hours after the political leadership signed the agreement, which would see the country hold elections within the next two months, besides implementing a host of local issues.

Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble led the teams in signing the deal on Thursday, in a function that was attended by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, five states leaders, Banadir Governor Omar Filish and a host of international partners.

Farmajo’s term expired on Feb 8 and his decision to extend it was vehemently rejected by a host of stakeholders. He appointed Mohamed Hussein Roble to lead the reconciliation process in the country, a move that seemingly yielded fruits.

And Washington has hailed the landmark agreement but asked the leadership to implement the deal for the sake of prosperity. The State Department specifically hailed Roble for showing extraordinary leadership in the negotiation process.

“We commend Prime Minister Roble’s efforts and call on Somalia’s leaders to maintain the spirit of cooperation and compromise demonstrated during this week’s negotiations,” the US said in a statement issued by spokesperson Ned Price.

“We encourage them to move swiftly to implement the agreement, as concluding a peaceful, inclusive, and transparent electoral process as soon as possible is vital for Somalia to continue on its path to peace and prosperity. We look forward to continuing our support for that process.”

Also, those who have since hailed the landmark agreement are the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, the United Nations, European Union among others. The European Union also asked for expedited implementation of the deal to avoid further downturns.

“In this regard, we welcome Prime Minister Roble’s endeavours pursuing constructive deliberations between the federal and regional leaderships. Elections should be held without delay,” the EU, which is a major financial partner of Somalia said.

“In the next steps of the process, it is key that all parties continue the constructive engagement refraining from violence or any actions derailing the process. The EU stands ready to continue our support,” it added.

The Council Presidential Candidates also welcomed the electoral pact inked on Thursday at the Afisioni tent. In a video statement, CPS spokesman, Dahir Gelle, expressed the Council’s optimism towards the agreed-upon points and their implementation.

The outgoing President also said, “My role, henceforth, is to help the implementation of this agreement.” Farmajo had initially distanced himself from the electoral impasse, arguing that Puntland and Jubaland were responsible, but the two states accused the federal government of complacency.