Chinese envoy asks Somali parties to break political deadlock over delayed elections

Zhang Jun (L), China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, addresses a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Somalia at the UN headquarters in New York, May 25, 2021. /Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS, May 25 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called on parties in Somalia to strive to break the current political deadlock over delayed elections. Somalia’s situation is at a critical juncture, and the political deadlock over delayed elections is still continuing, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Leaders of the Somali federal government have reiterated their commitment to the electoral consensus reached on Sept. 17, 2020, and once again convened a dialogue among parties in Somalia. China fully recognizes such efforts, he told the Security Council.

“To break the current political stalemate serves the common interests of parties and people in Somalia. We encourage parties in Somalia to put the interests of the country first, strengthen unity and cooperation, make necessary compromises, rebuild political trust, swiftly agree on electoral arrangements, restore Somalia’s political stability so as to provide favorable conditions for the security transition and national reconstruction.”

Zhang expressed concern over the dire security situation in Somalia and commended the efforts of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMSOM) in this regard. China welcomes the mandate extension of AMSOM by the African Union Peace and Security Council and takes note of its efforts toward AMSOM’s reconfiguration, he said.

The European Union has provided important funding support for AMSOM. China expects the bloc to continue its strong support so as to make new contributions to the maintenance of security and stability in Somalia. The international community should step up assistance to help Somali security forces gradually take over security responsibilities, said Zhang.

Somalia has long been in a deep humanitarian crisis. Lagging development, COVID-19, droughts, the locust plague have further compounded the plight of Somalis. The international community should provide more assistance in areas such as the fight against COVID-19, post-pandemic reconstruction, debt relief, food security, and poverty reduction, he said.

China has long supported Somalia’s peace and reconstruction within its capacity. China has helped Somalia build infrastructure and enhance capacity building. It has recently donated COVID vaccines to Somalia. China will work with the international community to make greater contributions to lasting peace and sustainable development in Somalia, he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua News Agency