International partners urge Somali leaders to agree on poll timeline

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Mogadishu (SONNA)-The international community on Saturday called on Somali leaders to iron out outstanding issues from the previous consultative meetings and agree on the short election timeline to implement the pre-election deal in the new round of talks slated for Monday.

The partners including the African Union, EU and the UN among other countries said government and federal member state leaders due to attend the Feb. 15 summit should engage in frequent consultations with other stakeholders to inform the deliberations.

“We believe it is vital that the discussions initiated in Dhusamareb be brought quickly to a successful conclusion in this next round of dialogue,” said the partners in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

The statement comes after President Mohamed Farmajo who is seeking another second four-year term has called for a consultative meeting of heads of federal governments on Feb. 15 to help break the deadlock on the electoral process.

Both Puntland and Jubbaland have welcomed the Monday talks but proposed that they be held in Mogadishu to ensure the participation of stakeholders and the international community.

But the international partners said they do not believe that the question of the location justifies any delay to this critically important summit.

“We urge the Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders, in a constructive spirit, to resolve the small number of issues outstanding from the Dhusamareb talks and agree to a short election timeline necessary to implement the September 17 Agreement,” the partners said.

They said it is crucial that the discussions initiated in Dhusamareb be brought quickly to a successful conclusion in this next round of dialogue.

“Now is the time to avoid unilateral actions and proceed quickly to agree on the implementation of the September 17 electoral process to choose Somalia’s leaders,” said the partners.

The composition of the electoral team and sharp differences between Farmajo and Jubbaland leader Ahmed Madobe over the deployment of troops in the Gedo region are among the contentious issues.

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