Somalia’s pre-election violence threatens to erode gains made in peace process, warns IGAD

IGAD executive secretary Workneh Gebeyehu at the launch of the Africa Borderlands Centre

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development has condemned the violence in Mogadishu, Somalia.

IGAD further condemned the growing hostility and extreme belligerence in political contests in the country.

“The continued impasse over the upcoming elections and the emerging pre-election violence increases the risks of instability and threatens to erode all the gains made in the peace and state-building processes; and in the fight against terrorism,” IGAD executive secretary Workneh Gebeyehu said in a statement on Friday.

IGAD also called upon all political leaders to immediately de-escalate tension and re-engage constructively, in the interest of the people of Somalia.

“We urge all the political leaders to seek consensus on all outstanding issues. IGAD will continue to engage all political leaders and other stakeholders on this path,” Gebeyehu said.

The federal government of Somalia and opposition figures are in a stalemate over the election model.

The opposition organized protests on Friday that were disrupted by shooting by government forces.

Earlier on Thursday night, there was a heavy exchange of gunfire in Mogadishu.

President Mohamed Farmaajo, whose term ended on February 8, termed the protests “insurrection” in a statement on Friday.

The AU, the EU and the UN in Somalia have also expressed concerns over the latest wave of violence.

IGAD reiterated that ‘a Somali-owned and Somali-led dialogue is the best option out of the stalemate.

AU, EU condemn violence in Somalia, call for dialogue

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