Somalia: UN envoy on visit to Puntland, discussing security ahead of elections 22 Nov 22, 2013 - 7:55:43 AM
UN envoy to Somalia addresses media in Bossaso Port city on 22 Nov [Photo: Garowe Online]
GAROWE, Somalia Nov.22, 2013 (Garowe Online)-United Nations Special Representative to Somalia and the head of UN assistance mission Ambassador Nicholas Kay who arrived in Somalia’s northeastern regions of Puntland for a three-day official visit has been meeting Puntland Government officials including President Farole, traditional elders, presidential contenders and civil society representatives, Garowe Online reports.
On Wednesday, Speaking at a joint press conference with Kay, the President of Somalia’s Puntland Government Abdirahman Mohamed Farole said he discussed with Kay the humanitarian situations after the cyclonic storm and Puntland electoral process.
“We exchanged views on the humanitarian crisis in Puntland since the recent storm damaged the economic sector and the road to inclusive and peaceful elections,” said President Farole noting that his administration is committed to holding free, fair and transparent presidential elections.
After holding wide-ranging discussions mainly covering the upcoming election with Government officials in the capital Garowe, Ambassador Kay Thursday travelled to Galkayo, the provincial capital of Mudug region where he met Puntland Presidential candidates and the prominent traditional elders discussing the formation of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Committee, the security during the elections and women representation in parliament.
“I am here because of the important election process [that is happening] at the moment, I came to listen to everybody involved, I met President Farole, some of the candidates, a lot of the traditional leaders and I am hearing about the progress of the election,” Kay told a news conference in Galkayo.
Speaking about the role of the traditional elders ahead of elections he said “I believe that everybody wants peaceful, free and fair elections and the traditional leaders know what they are doing and they know how to do this”.
The UN envoy indicated that the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Committee members are epicenter at this crucial time and he urged the names to be chosen in consultation with the traditional elders and the candidates if possible.
On the security issue as the current government and the public prepare for the forthcoming presidential elections Ambassador Kay said “We discussed security and so far I heard that the security arrangements are going well but it is important also that all the candidates feel comfortable with the security arrangements over them and it is responsibility of the government to ensure that they are comfortable with the security arrangements”.
On Friday, UN envoy to Somalia visited the port city of Bossaso meeting the civil society members and traditional elders.
He said they discussed issues touching on the electoral process such as the selection of Members of Parliament “It is also very important that the process produces a number of women for the parliament and higher number of women than was chosen last time”.
Puntland located in northern Somalia gears up for presidential election that is slated for 8th of January 2014.