Tuesday February 23, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - The UN Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, travelled to Kismayo on Tuesday to meet with Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe in an attempt to break the political deadlock, just a day after meeting with President Farmajo and briefing the UN Security Council.
Swan led a delegation of international partners to meet with Jubaland leaders to discuss the roadblocks in implementing the September 17 agreement. The UNSOM confirmed the meeting through the mission's Twitter account.
"Meeting with Jubaland's President Madobe in Kismayo today, intl. partners stressed the importance of Somalia's leaders coming together to finalize the implementation of the 17 Sep. electoral model, building on the good work of the Technical Committee which met in Baidoa."
The meeting comes just a day after Swan met with other key stakeholders in Mogadishu. President Farmajo, along with the presidents of Galmudug, Hirshabeelle, South West State, and the Benadir region governor, met with the UN to offer their viewpoints on the electoral crisis.
Both Puntland and Jubbaland, who have found each other as strong allies against Farmajo's attempts to centralize power, did not attend any of the Mogadishu meetings. Instead, Jubaland released a statement on Sunday that demanded President Farmajo not play a role in the electoral process. They also insisted the federal government apologize to the opposition candidates who were fired upon during anti-government protests and a more inclusive venue to host the talks.
Despite this rhetoric, President Farmajo called for a meeting with Jubaland and Puntland leaders on Monday. This time, Somalia's federal government did not lay out a proposed timetable or venue for the talks.
Hours after meeting with officials in Mogadishu, Swan briefed the UN Security Council on the country's heightened tensions that have been exacerbated by the refusal of opposition candidates to recognize President Farmajo's legitimacy after his constitutional mandate ended.
"Growing political tensions threaten Somalia's state-building progress and even security unless they are resolved through dialogue and compromise in the interest of the country," Swan said.
The UN envoy added, 'Unfortunately, instead, we are seeing increased brinkmanship, pressure tactics, and tests of strength that can only heighten risks."
Swan last travelled to Kismayo to meet with Madobe in late January to secure a deal before President Farmajo's term expiration. At that time, Madobe demanded Farmaajo pull out Gedo troops as a precondition for participating in the elections.