James Duddridge – 2021 Statement on the Elections in Somalia

The statement made by James Duddridge, the Minister for Africa, on 13 April 2021.

We are dismayed by the decision of the Lower House of the Somali Parliament to extend the mandates of Mohamed Farmajo as President and of the Somali Parliament by two years. This is not a solution to the ongoing impasse on the electoral process, but instead a move that undermines the credibility of Somalia’s leadership and risks the safety and future of the Somali people.

We have consistently opposed any initiatives leading to a parallel process, partial election or an extension of prior mandates. We urge Somalia’s leaders to refrain from any further unilateral actions that may escalate political tensions or violence. It is vital that all parties remain calm and protect Somalia’s stability and security.

Constructive dialogue between Somali leaders is central to ensuring implementation of the 17 September agreement on the electoral model. That agreement is the only legitimate basis for elections. Now is the time for Somalia’s leaders to look beyond narrow self-interest and uphold their responsibilities to the people of Somalia. We urge Somalia’s leaders to return to talks immediately to find practical solutions and reach agreement on remaining issues, demonstrating restraint and compromise.

In the absence of consensus leading to inclusive and credible elections being held without further delay, the international community’s relationship with Somalia’s leadership will change. The UK will work with its international partners on a common approach to re-evaluate our relationship and the nature of our assistance to Somalia.