WITH POTENTIALLY HISTORIC YEAR AHEAD FOR SOMALIA, DELEGATION OF AU, EU, IGAD AND UN HOLDS CONSULTATIONS WITH STAKEHOLDERS IN KISMAYO
Kismayo – On the third stop of a series of consultations in Somalia’s Federal Member States, a senior delegation of some of the country’s international partners today visited Jubaland’s capital, Kismayo, where it held meetings on how the country can implement the national priorities it has set for the coming year.
“We are here to engage with a range of stakeholders, and to hear their views on how key national priorities can be achieved in 2020. These include preparations for ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections, finalisation of the Federal Constitution, continued progress towards debt relief, and the fight against Al-Shabaab,” the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, said on behalf of the delegation.
“Ahead of this critical year,” Mr. Swan said, “representatives of some of Somalia’s multilateral partners are engaging with national authorities, Federal Member States, elders and civil society, across the country. We regret that on today’s visit, some invited civil society and community leaders were unable to meet with us.”
The delegation was comprised of the European Union’s (EU) Ambassador to Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga; the African Union (AU) Mission in Somalia’s Chief of Mission Support, Major-General Fidza Dludlu; and a Senior Advisor of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim.
The four officials held meetings with Jubaland’s President Ahmed Mohamed Islam ‘Madobe,’ local elders, civil society representatives and opposition leaders, acknowledging that the political situation in Jubaland remains unsettled.
“However, Jubaland and its people have a role to play in achieving Somalia’s goals in 2020. We did not wish their views to be overlooked,” Mr. Swan noted.
The UN envoy also highlighted that Somalia’s objectives are achievable with the strong collaboration of all stakeholders and that 2020 has the potential to be a historic year for Somalia.
“We encourage all Somali leaders, institutions and communities to engage in dialogue to agree a way forward, and to cooperate to realise the priorities agreed for the year ahead,” Mr. Swan said.