The United States on Thursday urged Somalia to move ahead with all planned elections and abide by political agreements of 30 percent female representation in parliament, following the implementation of the September 17 Electoral Model that led to the May 27 agreement.
Commending Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble for his leadership of the process following a major crisis this year, Ambassador Richard Mills, the Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations, said the U.S. remains committed to the peace and stability of Somalia.
Mills was speaking at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Somalia in New York City, USA.
“The United States welcomes, as others have, the considerable progress on Somalia’s electoral process over the past three months. When the Security Council last convened to discuss Somalia in May, the country was facing its most serious bout of political instability in over 20 years. So, since that time, the United States has been very pleased to see the electoral process moving forward,” Mills told the UN Security Council.
He said notwithstanding the progress achieved thus far, there remain aspects of the process that require continued focus and attention.
“For example, when the Upper House elections conclude, stakeholders should expeditiously conduct Lower House elections with a view to carrying out the country’s long-delayed presidential election on the announced date of October 10. This includes completing election security preparations to ensure voting can take place in a safe and secure environment,” Mills said.
In addition, women should not be left out, he said. “It is also critical to finalize arrangements for meeting the quota pursuant to Somali political agreements of 30 percent female representation in parliament,” he said, asserting that “in Somalia, where women have often been the victims of discrimination and oppression, it is vital that their voices are included in the highest chambers of the Somali government.”
Mills urged the government of Somalia “to do its utmost to adhere to established electoral timelines, to continue promoting cooperation between the Federal Government and Federal Member States, and to closely coordinate with all partners to ensure that these two (UN) missions remain fit for purpose.”