Somalia’s political process gets AU mission support

An African Union pre-election mission has pledged support for political process in Somalia as the Horn of Africa nation heads to elections next month.

The team, which arrived in Mogadishu on a fact-finding mission on Monday, pledged more support from the African Union, to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to help stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.

“We want to support this particular electoral process, but then beyond that, we need to develop institutional capacity, that then gives the state the capability to be able to run itself,” said Olabisi Dare, the Head of the AU Humanitarian Division in the Political Department, of the AU Commission and leader of the delegation.

In a statement issued by AMISOM on Wednesday at the end of their-day mission in Somalia said the four-member pre-election assessment team said there was need to back security with political support to ensure stability.

“For overall security in Somalia, there is need to have the political element to support and give more permanent nature the security that is created by AMISOM,” Dare said.

Dare reaffirmed the pan African body’s support to Somalia beyond the forthcoming elections, saying the 54-member continental body was keen to support the growth of the country’s institutional structures and federalization process.

“The situation in Somalia requires that we engage fully and in a more robust manner to be able to support AMISOM. We are aware of the fact that as AMISOM gains ground, the requisite stability to support the security situation is sometimes lacking and this sometimes leads to reversal,” he said.

During their visit, the delegation met with Somali, AMISOM leaders, representatives of political organizations, civil society and the Federal Indirect Elections Implementation Team.

Deputy Special Representative of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Raisedon Zenenga said without the achievements made by AMISOM in creating the space there would have been no progress in political process.

“What has not been achieved today on the political front is not for want of sufficient security space. The security space to achieve what was set for 2016 is there,” Raisedon Zenenga noted.

The pre-election assessment team will make recommendations to the AU Commission, which will inform continued support to AMISOM and guide an election observer mission to monitor the August-September electoral process.


Xinhua/Zainab Sa’id