UN holds emergency session on Somalia’s political crisis


NEW YORK (SMN) – The U.N. Security Council held emergency consultations Friday on Somalia´s worsening political crisis, which could threaten long-delayed national elections and further destabilize the East Africa region

Britain´s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward, who called for the closed briefing by U.N. special envoy James Swan, expressed serious concern about “the rising tensions between the prime minister and the president.”

The meeting followed President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s statement Thursday saying he suspended Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble´s power to hire and fire officials, the latest action in their increasingly divisive relationship.

Woodward said the increasing tensions have implications for the electoral process and could lead to a constitutional crisis on top of the country´s other challenges from Al-Shabab extremists to famine, locusts and hunger.

Three decades of chaos, from warlords to al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab and the emergence of an Islamic State-linked group, have ripped apart the country that only in the past few years has begun to find its footing.

Woodward said the Security Council should keep up the pressure to put the electoral process back on track and “to see the prime minister and the president resolve their differences quickly … to ensure the security, peace, and stability Somalia needs.”

Council members were considering a draft press statement, obtained by The Associated Press, that would express “deep concern about the ongoing disagreement within the Somali government and the negative impact on the electoral timetable and process.”


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