Norway has called for “swift transfer of power” in Somalia, even as the federal government and regional state leaders grapple over the electoral process in the volatile Horn of Africa state.
“As a close partner, Norway is deeply concerned about the lack of political will by all to seek a solution. Somalia is obliged to secure swift transfer of power, as are all political actors. A successful way forward requires courageous leaders seeking consensus,” Norway Embassy in Somalia fired in a tweet on Tuesday.
Rashid Abdi, who analyses the Horn Region, said it is good to see Norway taking a slightly different position on Somalia and demand “swift transfer of power”.
“The international partners ‘all-must-abide-by-the-17 September’ position is untenable. The electoral process is effectively broken,” Abdi said in a tweet.
This is even as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed his “deep concern” over the continued political impasse regarding the holding of elections in Somalia. This is despite several rounds of consultations amongst Somali political actors, both at technical and principal levels.
“The protracted stalemate carries significant risks for the stability of the country and the welfare of the Somali people, who are already facing a dire humanitarian situation and precarious security conditions,” the UN chief said through Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq.
EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell in a statement hinted at sanctions against spoilers in the political talks.
Borrell said Somalia’s leaders need to find a compromise leading to an immediate electoral process and a peaceful transfer of power, through the implementation of the September 17 agreement.
“The current lack of agreement seriously delays the pace of urgently needed reforms, for the detriment of Somalia’s citizens,” he said.
“Those who undermine the dialogue or resort to the use of violence will be exposed to measures and will face the consequences of their actions,” he warned.
Borrell maintained that Somalia’s federal and member state leaders must honour their responsibilities to the people of Somalia and elections immediately.
“No alternative, unilateral or partial process will receive our support”.
The US, on the other hand, on Tuesday urged President Mohammed Farmaajo to ensure full participation in the summit with regional leaders and conclude an elections deal.
The US Embassy also called on all regional leaders to participate without preconditions.