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Int’l partners visit Puntland for talks over Somalia’s election in 2020

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

GAROWE, Puntland – A high-level delegation from Somalia’s international partners on Wednesday arrived in Garowe, the capital of the northeastern Puntland state, Garowe Online reports.

This was the last leg of joint consultative visits in the Federal Member States by the heads of AU, EU, IGAD and UN missions in Mogadishu to hear views of the stakeholders over Somalia’s goals in 2020.

Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni, Vice President Ahmed Karash and ministers held a key meeting with a delegation from the International Community led by the UN envoy to Somalia, James Swan.

According to a statement by Puntland presidency, the sides discussed the upcoming parliamentary and presidential polls in 2020-21, security, debt relief and finalization of the country’s draft Constitution.

The partners say they believe that Somalia’s objectives are achievable through the strong collaboration among all Somali stakeholders and the next year has the potential to be a historic year for the nation.

“Today, we have received a delegation led by UN envoy for Somalia James Swan, along with EU, AU and IGAD officials. We discussed a wide range of issues related to political and security and economy,” read the statement.

The country’s political, electoral and security priorities for 2020 are facing numerous challenges, including lack of inclusive politics and consensus on the model of the next election as well as the Al-Shabab threat.

"Progress on the ambitious agenda for 2020 will require a high degree of political consensus," James Swan told UN Security Council last month, adding that there is a need for Parliament to pass electoral code and adopt amendments to political parties law before the end of December.

UN envoy James Swan said the important meeting with the Puntland leadership ended with a positive atmosphere and discussed key issues that need to be addressed, including the 2021 Somali elections.

Women’s role in politics, to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism as well as economic and social development were among the top of the agenda during the talks in Garowe on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

With Somalia scheduled to hold “one-person, one-vote” elections next year, the leaders have been urged to break now the “stalemate” between the Federal Government and Federal member states.

Last year,  Leaders of five Somali regional states resolved to suspend relations with the central government, citing a lack of political and security progress in the Horn of Africa nation.

The Federal States also accused the central government of interfering with regional issues, failure to implement security architecture and not fulfilling political agreements.

Analysts say the resolutions are the latest political setback by the central government which is trying to partner with the international community to stabilize the long-chaotic country.


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