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Thu 15 April 2021:

Somalia has accused some of its foreign backers of undermining its sovereignty after the embattled government was threatened with sanctions over a decision to extend its mandate by two years.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday signed into law a “special resolution” extending his time in office, despite his term expiring in February, and repeat warnings that such a move would not be supported by western powers.

It followed a total collapse in UN-backed talks between the central government in Mogadishu and two of Somalia’s semi-autonomous states over how to proceed with delayed elections in the fragile nation.


The United States and European Union have condemned the move by Somalia’s parliament to extend the terms of the president and members of parliament by two years amid concern it could deepen divides in the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “deeply disappointed” by the approval of the legislation on Tuesday.

“Implementation of this bill will pose serious obstacles to dialogue and further undermine peace and security in Somalia,” Blinken said in a statement.

“While we appreciate the concerns of our friends and international partners for Somalia’s stability and security, it is regrettable to witness champions of democratic principles falling short of supporting the aspirations of the Somali people to exercise their democratic rights,” Somalia’s foreign ministry said in a statement issued late Wednesday,

“Inflammatory statements laden with threats, which undermine the political independence and sovereign rights of national institutions, will only serve to embolden terrorist organizations and anti-peace elements in Somalia.”

It said the government stood by the lower house of parliament in its decision to approve the mandate extension, declaring it lawful and necessary to pave the way for free and fair elections.

The political crisis threatens to deepen Somalia’s divisions, distracting attention from the fight against the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab in which thousands of civilians across the region have died over the past 12 years.

The African Union, European Union, United Nations and regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, said in a joint statement on Saturday that they would not support any extension of the president’s term.




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