AU, EU condemn violence in Somalia, call for dialogue

Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union Ambassador Birgitte Markussen and AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki/ EU

The European Union and African Union have condemned the violence in Mogadishu.

AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki on Friday expressed concern over the deteriorating security and political situation in Mogadishu, which he said puts at risk all the gains made in Somalia in the last decade.

In a statement, Faki also condemned all forms of violence in Somalia and called on Somali stakeholders to refrain from acts that might jeopardize peace and security in the country.

He called on leaders to work together to find consensual solution to break the political stalemate.

“The Chairperson encourages the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the Federal Member States (FMS) and other stakeholders to continue with their ongoing dialogue, guided by the spirit of compromise with a view to arriving at a consensual agreement, including on all outstanding election-related matters,” the statement said.

Reacting to the statement, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles tweeted,“Full support to @AUC_MoussaFaki statement on the deteriorating situation in Mogadishu. The people of #Somalia deserve full dedication of their leaders to their safety and wellbeing. Joining the call for dialogue and restraint from any unilateral measures.”

There was heavy exchange of gunfire in Mogadishu ahead of planned opposition protests on Friday. The federal government of Somalia and opposition leaders have traded accusations of attacking each other’s positions.

Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud accused government troops of attacking Hotel Maida where he is staying alongside his predecessor Sharif Ahmed.

In response, Somali government accused “armed militias” of attacking positions of government troops in Mogadishu. Security minister Hassan Hundubey Jimale said in a statement that government troops defended themselves against the attack.

While the opposition maintained it would go ahead with the protests, the government said all public gatherings are suspended due to Covid-19.

The opposition is Somalia say they don’t recognise Mohamed Farmaajo as President after his term ended on February 8 due to delay on reaching an agreement on the election model.

Election talks ended without a deal in Dhusamareb town earlier this month after President Farmaajo and regional leaders disagreed over election management.

Faki urged the Somali leadership and the political class to act in the interest of Somalia as a whole, rather than narrow partisan political interests.

“The people of Somalia have suffered for too long, and the current violence poses a serious threat to the Somali transition plan, at the precise moment it is being finalized,” he said.

UN in Somalia raises concerns over armed clashes in Mogadishu

The UN in Somalia has also said it is deeply concerned by the situation in Somalia.

In a statement on Friday, the UN Somalia called for calm and restraint by all parties involved, and urged that open lines of communication be maintained to help reduce tensions.

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