Another round of talks to resolve Somalia’s election deadlock has ended without a deal in the capital Mogadishu. The negotiations collapsed as the international community pressed Somali President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo and leaders of federal states to reach a deal.
Contentious issues include the formation of the electoral commission, the selection of commission members for the breakaway region of Somaliland, and the crisis in the Somalia-Kenya border region of Gedo.
Critics have accused Farmaajo, who is seeking a second term, of delaying the election to extend his current mandate.
“The first thing to say is that there is huge disappointment all across Somalia because of the collapse of the talks, but I think clearly anybody (who) has been following this crisis for some time would probably not be surprised by this turn of events. The writing was on the wall and it was clearly these talks were headed nowhere,” says Horn of Africa researcher at the International Crisis Group, Rashid Abdi.
Fundamental change in governance needed to achieve peace, says Prof Abdi Ismail Samatar:
The parliamentary and presidential election was due to be held in February.
On Saturday, at least 10 people were killed when a suicide bomber struck makeshift kiosks in the Somali capital, hitting hours after al Shabaab militants attacked two National Army bases outside the city.
The attacks come amid heightened fears that the group could seek to exploit vulnerabilities created by failure to the election. – Additional reporting by Reuters