The United Nations (UN) and Africa Union (AU) have pledged their support for the newly elected Somalia president to help tackle daunting challenges that await his government.
In separate statements issued in Somalia on Wednesday night, the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNSOM) and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia congratulated former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on his election as Somalia’s new president.
In his statement, SRCC for Somalia, Francisco Caetano Madeira appealed to the newly elected president and all leaders to work together in uniting the country by pursuing reconciliation to enable Somalia to tackle the political and socioeconomic challenges.
“I appeal to the new government that will be formed, to use the next four years in office, to enhance reconciliation and unity. The African Union remains committed to supporting you in your efforts to stabilize the country,” Madeira said.
The AU envoy also lauded the Somalia National Security Forces and AMISOM for their commitment and hard work which provided an environment suitable for the successful completion of the electoral process.
Madeira said the last couple of months, leading to this momentous day, have no doubt been challenging for Somalia in its effort to bring peace and stability.
“The electoral process journey was intricate, requiring negotiations and compromises to overcome the challenges that once appeared insurmountable,” he said.
The new president, Farmajo, who holds dual Somali-U.S. citizenship was declared the winner after two rounds of voting by the Somali Parliament in Mogadishu on Wednesday in an electoral process that took almost 18 months.
UNSOM Spokesperson Joseph Contreras said the UN will work with President Farmajo and his government in tackling the many economic, political, security and humanitarian challenges facing Somalia.
“It’s an historic milestone in the country’s emergence from years of chaos and civil war. We feel the process, though flawed in some respects by allegations of corruption and manipulation of some of the parliamentary voting, overall, produced some very positive results,” he said according to UN news release.
President Farmajo faces a formidable set of challenges in meeting the expectations of the Somali people who will expect the new federal government to respond to the country’s worsening drought crisis and avert another famine.
A top priority identified by Farmajo is improving security for all Somalis, which will require continued partnership with the African Union and international donors.
Other challenges include reconciliation and the peaceful resolution of a number of local conflicts and the resumption of the constitutional review process, not least to map out the pathway to one-person, one-vote elections in 2020.
“The international community is eager to partner with the new President, the Federal Government of Somalia, the country’s federal member states and the people of Somalia in responding to these challenges,” said Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia.
“Yesterday’s (Wednesday) orderly and peaceful transfer of power is a major achievement for Somalia and should boost confidence in the country’s future both at home and abroad,” he said in a statement issued on Thursday. Enditem