MOGADISHU, Somalia – UN Chief Envoy to Somalia James Swan held a closed-door meeting on Sunday with Security Chief General Abdi Hassan on the agenda of the long-awaited election, which would begin in November 2020.
Secretary-General Hassan is police commissioner and is tasked with providing homeland security in the Horn of Africa, which has struggled with insecurity for decades due to growing al-Shabaab attacks and conflicts between clans that have tracked efforts to restore normalcy in the country.
Sources familiar with the meeting said the two agreed to work closely with local stakeholders to ensure peaceful elections in the country. The UN chief said the international community had promised to support police efforts to enforce law and order in Somalia.
Although the country may not have a robust police force, the UN, through the African Union Mission in Somalia, has trained officers who are expected to take on security responsibilities in the coming months. The police will work closely with the military to ensure smooth elections.
Earlier, the UN envoy praised Somalia’s commitment to embracing democracy, adding that the global agency will continue to support initiatives that will benefit the struggling population, including but not limited to the intensification of humanitarian aid.
He urged young people to work with the UN by engaging in the conversation as the body celebrates its anniversary in the coming months. Somalia is also involved in talks with Somaliland, a region that withdrew in 1991 after years of atrocities constructed by the Siad Barre administration.
“For UN75 discussions to be meaningful, young people in particular need to be at the forefront. Somali youth play a key role, as Somalia has one of the youngest populations in the world – about 60 percent of the country’s estimated population of 15.9 million people is below 30 years. “
Last week, stakeholders agreed to adopt the constituency caucus model for the upcoming election, where at least 101 delegates per. Constituency would participate in the election. The agreement was reached after several months of strife, which almost threatened operations in the country.
But in the election would not include the National Independent Electoral Commission [NIEC], contrary to the expectations of many, with responsibilities now given to regional election agencies. But the former deputy speaker of the Kenyan parliament, Farah Maalim, has ruined the deal, arguing that it could throw the country into anarchy.
“Where in all the new democracies do you see a regional state making national elections. Farmaajo must be seriously out of its mind to imagine that traitors with proven treacherous behavior can hold free and fair elections for national parliamentarians. The Somali parliament rejects this pigs, “he remarked.