UK statement on political crisis in Somalia

Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford said:

The UK is deeply concerned by the escalation of the current political crisis in Somalia. The situation threatens to undermine the credibility of Somalia’s leadership and risks the safety and future of the Somali people.

It is vital that Somalia’s leaders refrain from unilateral actions that could deepen political tensions, including any further public statements and personnel announcements which could increase the risk of violence.

We urge that all stakeholders maintain peace to avoid any risks to Somalia’s stability and security. Likewise, it is important that Somalia’s security forces remain focused on countering the common threat of Al Shabaab, who stand to gain from this ongoing political crisis. As champions of the debt relief efforts, the UK also urges the de-politicisation of Somalia’s finances to protect the gains made through the process.

This is a moment for statesmanship, restraint and compromise. We look to Somalia’s leaders to engage in meaningful mediation and to agree ways forward that de-escalate the situation and restore the focus on the priority of conducting peaceful elections, as agreed on 27 May, without further delay. Somalia needs effective governance. The continued failure to move quickly towards elections will increase insecurity and exacerbate the grave humanitarian challenges the country is facing.

A continued deterioration in the situation leading to further electoral delays will have a substantial impact on the legacy of Somalia’s leaders.

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