Photo: Credit Xinhua News Agency//Ding Haitao) (lr)
The African Union Peace and Security Council has condemned the April 12 parliamentary resolution – passed by Somalia’s House of the People – to extend their mandate and that of the President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo for two years, describing the move as ‘unilateral’ and inconducive to peace and stability in Somalia.
In a communique released after their virtual meeting on Thursday, the PSC said it was deeply concerned about the worrying developments caused by the term extension.
The African Union called on Amisom-the peacekeeping force operated by the AU-to keep track of Somali Security Forces and asked Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, to convene a high-level meeting of Amisom’s troops contributing countries to ‘consider the security implications of the current political impasse.’
The announcement was received positively by the US State Department. The Bureau of African Affairs said on Twitter that they welcomed the AU decision to condemn the mandate extension.
The Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) told a Senate panel that the illegal-term extension posed the biggest obstacle to security in Somalia and not the militant insurgent group Al-Shabaab.
Townsend, a four-star Army general, appeared before the Committee on Armed Services and testified that the political dysfunction between federal and regional governments is the most pressing security challenge in the country.
“The biggest impact to security in Somalia right now is less than Al-Shabaab and so the political dysfunction that exists between the federal government of Somalia and the federal member states. As you mentioned in your opening remarks, the extra-constitutional extension of the president’s term in office – that’s our biggest challenge, I think, right now.”
Gen. Townsend said that the Trump-ordered withdrawal of US troops from Somalia has seriously affected its ability to conduct counterterrorism operations.
According to European External Action Service Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the political and security situation. The conclusions in the African Union’s Peace and Security Council’s 22nd April Communique on the political and security situation in Somalia are decisive and welcome.
The European Union supports the rejection of any mandate extension and looks forward to a prompt return to negotiations, facilitated by an African Union envoy, to achieve consensus for elections, based on the agreement of 17 September 2020. The EU also welcomes the call for a Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) meeting to assess the security situation in Somalia.
The EU stands ready to cooperate closely with the AU envoy and meanwhile, appeals for calm and the avoidance of any further action that might exacerbate tension.
”The Somali government warns against anything that affects its sovereignty and political independence. We oppose governments with political tensions in Somalia using the African Union Peace Commission to infringe on Somalia’s sovereignty,” said Somali Information Minister Osman Dubbe.
Somali Information Minister Osman Dubbe said that the Somali government does not accept any violation of Somalia’s internal affairs, which he said is against the rules and regulations established by the African Union. He said they welcome anyone who assists the government in holding free and fair elections in which the people elect their representatives.