Somalia faces uncertainty as term of President nears end


Somalia is largely an oral society where word of mouth spreads like fire. This week, the rumour has been whether President Mohamed Farmaajo’s term will be extended or whether the vocal opposition groups will see through their threat of running parallel elections.

Both options have supporters and opponents, but the donor community, which is expected to fund the electoral programmes, has asked for consensus.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the donors said Somalia’s political leaders must choose national interest over personal ambitions and resolve the impasse.

“We urge Somalia’s top political stakeholders to demonstrate leadership in the interest of the nation and to quickly resolve outstanding issues of implementation through dialogue and compromise, so that a credible electoral process can proceed as soon as possible,” the donors, including the UN, European Union, the US, UK and other major Western powers, said.

Ethiopia and Egypt are the only African countries that endorsed the call, although it was also signed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

The impasse arose mainly from the listing of polling officials meant to conduct the elections. Opposition groups argued the teams were composed of spy agents and civil servants loyal to Farmaajo, and argued the polls would be unfair.