Horndiplomat-Mogadishu, 8 August 2016 – Somalia President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has appealed to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Security Forces to secure the coming parliamentary and presidential elections slated before the end of the year.
President Mohamud said the elections would be a turning point for Somalia in its steady progress to peace and stabilization. He, however, asked security forces to be on alert, adding that the terror group, Al-Shabaab, may seek to disrupt the process and prevent voters from exercising their democratic rights.
The elections will be a watershed because it will be the first time in more than 40 years that 14,025 electorates will elect the leaders.
This will be an increase in representation compared to the last elections in 2012, where a council of 135 elders represented the electorate.
The head of state made the appeal on Saturday night at a dinner, he hosted for the police and military commanders of AMISOM, the Somali National Army and Somali Police Force at Villa Somalia, the presidential palace, in Mogadishu.
In attendance were Somali government officials, top AMISOM officials led by the Special Representative of the African Union Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, and his Deputy (DSRCC), Lydia Wanyoto, as well as diplomats from Troop Contributing Countries.
The President praised AMISOM’s efforts in the fight against Al-Shabaab as well as supporting the country’s federal state formation process.
He noted that nascent peace and stability in Somalia has come at the cost of AMISOM soldiers’ lives, adding that Somalia would never forget the sacrifice made by the Mission’s Troop Contributing Countries.
“The best gift that a human being can give to another human being is life. There is nothing more precious than our lives. And this is what the Troop Contributing Countries and African boys and girls in uniform here in Somalia are giving. We have lost many brave men from different countries in Somalia and we have many orphans back home in the Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs).
We have very good boys and girls who have been maimed because of the war here in Somalia. All these are important contributions your people are making here in Somalia,” said President Hassan Sheikh.
He also said the decision by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional bloc member states to hold the Heads of State Summit in Mogadishu on 5th September, this year, is an endorsement that Somalia is on a steady path to recovery.
“Yesterday (Friday) in Addis Ababa the IGAD summit decided that the next meeting will take place here in Mogadishu on September 5th. This is another milestone that we are registering as this is an indicator to the world and African continent that Somalia is a different place now.”