Vicky Ford – 2021 Statement on the Somali Elections

The statement made by Vicky Ford, the Minister for Africa, on 26 December 2021.

The UK is deeply concerned by the political situation in Somalia. Somalia stands at a critical juncture. For the sake of Somalia’s stability and security, it is vital Somalia’s leaders conclude the electoral process as soon as possible in a way that ensures the confidence of the Somali people in its outcome.

We underline the importance of an urgent meeting of the National Consultative Council (NCC) as the appropriate forum in which to resolve fundamental issues, address observed electoral shortcomings and accelerate the process. Greater transparency in the process will be particularly important. We reiterate that the NCC is established as the forum through which grievances with the process are addressed. At the technical level it is essential that the independence of the authority of the Electoral Bodies is respected.

We urge all Somalia’s leaders to attend the NCC meeting and to engage constructively in these talks. We remain supportive of any process that respects the 17 September 2020 and 27 May 2021 agreements and leads to consensus on a way forward.

This is a time for leadership and cooperation by all parties. It is vital Somalia’s leaders look beyond self-interest and refrain from any actions that could exacerbate the political tensions and risk violence, including through public statements, parallel processes or other provocative measures.

As we stated earlier this year, 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.