Monday, March 1, 2021

Tensions have escalated between Somalia and the UAE due to the postponement of the elections


After two days of violence related to the postponement of the elections in Somalia, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused “external forces” of contributing to the confusion and stirring up problems that caused the killing of at least five soldiers and the injury of more than 12 people, most of them civilians, on Friday in violent protests against the backdrop of the postponement of the elections In Somalia.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is under pressure, as elections were scheduled to take place on February 8th, but the vote was not held due to the absence of agreement on how to hold elections in the Horn of Africa country, and a segment of Somalis is calling for the president to step down.

In a statement released Sunday, the State Department blamed a foreign country for “making false and misleading statements, ignoring facts and sometimes supporting the insurgency.”

Although the name of a “specific” country was not mentioned, it is clear that the statement was referring to the United Arab Emirates, which had earlier criticized the violence in Somalia.

“The United Arab Emirates has expressed its grave concern about the deteriorating situation in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as a result of the continuing violence and the excessive use of force against civilians,” the Emirati statement issued on Saturday said.

Somali Information Minister Othman Dub criticized the Emirati statement, noting that it was “provocative” and called on the UAE to apologize. Dub claimed in a press conference, on Sunday, that some Somali officials had flown to the UAE, after which they raised the preconditions for the Somali elections that contributed to delaying the polls.

Relations between the UAE and Somalia have deteriorated since DP World, an Emirati company, signed separate agreements with Somali regional administrations in Somaliland and Puntland without the approval of the Somali federal government. In those agreements, DP World agreed to assist in developing seaports in the region.

The Somali federal government does not recognize Somaliland’s claim to independence, while Puntland, which enjoys semi-autonomy, and therefore the federal government does not favor that foreign countries conclude agreements with these lands.

The goal of holding direct elections in Somalia remains elusive, after it was supposed to take place this month, but the federal government and states have agreed to further “indirect elections”, in which senators and members of parliament are elected by community leaders, delegates. Powerful clans, in every member state. Then the members of Parliament and senators elect the President of Somalia.

A coalition of opposition leaders, along with civil society groups, objected to holding the elections, arguing that it leaves them no role in the politics of their country. The regional states of Jopaland and Puntland declined to participate.



#Tensions #escalated #Somalia #UAE #due #postponement #elections

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