The United States was “deeply disappointed” in the decision by the Somali federal government to pass a law that will extend the terms of office of the President and Parliament by two years, as it is “important” to reach consensus on the electoral process for this initiative pose “serious barriers” to dialogue, which is why it will “reevaluate the relationship”.
This mandate extension will force the United States to reassess bilateral relations with the federal government of Somalia, Washington.
This will also lead to a reassessment of diplomatic engagement and assistance and consider all available tools, including sanctions and visa restrictions, to respond to efforts to undermine peace and stability.
In a statement, the US State Department affirmed that it “does not support an extension of the mandate without broad support from Somali political actors, nor does it support parallel or partial electoral processes.”
These measures would “create deep divisions, undermine the federalism process and political reforms that have been at the heart of the country’s progress and partnership with the international community, and divert attention from the fight against Al Shabaab,” Washington said.
In addition, they will “further delay the holding of the promised elections that the Somali people are waiting for”.
Against this background, they have invited the Somali federal government and the heads of state and government of the federal member states to resume talks “urgently” and to agree on a way to resolve the electoral crisis.
Finally, they called on all parties “to act with the utmost restraint, to continue the dialogue and to avoid new unilateral measures that spark tension and undermine democratic processes and institutions in Somalia”.
The MPs associated with the Somali President, Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, approved this Monday to extend the mandate of the MPs themselves and the President by two years. This initiative challenges the open mediation process to try to resolve the political crisis the country finds itself in the absence of an election call.
The extension has already been condemned by both the country’s opposition and the international community.