Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls on Somali leaders to put aside “narrow political goals” and hold “transparent and inclusive elections”.
The United States on Friday called on Somalia to hold elections right away and end a stalemate that Washington says threatens the conflict-torn country in the Horn of Africa.
Somalia missed a deadline to hold an election before February 8 when President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmaajo, was due to step down, triggering a constitutional crisis in the already fragile state.
A coalition of opposition candidates now considers the president illegitimate and wants him to resign.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the electoral stalemate in Somalia, which creates political uncertainty that threatens the security, stability and development of the country,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“We call on the federal and member state leaders of Somalia to put aside narrow political goals, to shoulder their responsibilities to the Somali people and to agree to hold transparent and inclusive elections immediately,” Blinken added.
It was not the first time that the United States, which until January had hundreds of troops in Somalia, called on Mogadishu to overcome political stampede and hold elections.
Last month, the United States urged the country’s leaders to find a resolution.
In a statement, the United States Embassy in Mogadishu urged “Farmaajo and the national leaders of Somalia to act now to break the political impasse that threatens the future of Somalia and to reach an agreement with the leaders of federal member states to allow the immediate holding of parliamentary and presidential elections ”.
Washington said the stalemate has led to a lack of progress in the fight against al-Shabab, which continues to carry out attacks in the country.