UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Somalia urged the nation Monday to construct on final week’s election of a brand new president and work on nationwide reconciliation, enhance relations between the central authorities and states, and confront the rising risk from the al-Shabab extremist group.

James Swan referred to as final week’s conclusion of Somalia’s “unduly protracted and contentious” electoral course of “a major milestone for the country,” and advised the U.N. Safety Council it’s previous time for leaders to handle these and different urgent points.

The envoy mentioned he met with Somalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, three days after his Might 15 election to listen to about his objectives. They embrace ending a constitutional evaluate and judicial reforms, finishing electoral legal guidelines, guaranteeing compliance with situations for debt reduction, and giving pressing consideration to the “dire drought,” he said.

Calling this “a moment of opportunity,” Swan said the entire U.N. system in Somalia is ready to work with the new government to support these goals.

The election of Mohamud, who served as Somalia’s president in 2012-2017, ended a long-delayed electoral process. Political tensions and insecurity concerns had increased after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s mandate expired in February 2021 without a successor in place.

Mohamud defeated Abdullahi Mohamed in secret balloting by members of both chambers of parliament.

No sitting president has ever been elected to two consecutive terms in the Horn of Africa nation, where rival clans fight intensely over political power. And no former Somali president had ever staged a successful return to the office until Mohamud’s election.

Only in the past few years has Somalia begun to find its footing after three decades of chaos from fighting among warlords and violence brought by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group and the emergence of Islamic State-linked extremist groups.

Swan called the current security situation in the country “highly volatile,” saying al-Shabab had been emboldened by domestic political tensions and staged attacks in recent months in the capital Mogadishu, South-West State and Hirshabelle.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an order the day after Mohamud’s election to redeploy a whole lot of U.S. troops to Somalia to counter al-Shabab, which is taken into account the most important and wealthiest affiliate of the al-Qaida extremist group. U.S. navy leaders mentioned this effort had been hampered by President Donald Trump’s resolution late in his time period to withdraw forces from the nation.

African Union particular consultant, Francisco Madeira, advised the council that in his electoral manifesto, Somalia’s new president “placed emphasis on liberating the country from al-Shabab,” opening up the principle provide routes, and guaranteeing that the safety forces don’t intervene in politics.

The peaceable switch of energy creates situations for advancing a nationwide political dialogue and deepening reconciliation, Madeira mentioned in a video briefing. He added that he was happy the brand new administration is already participating regional leaders on essential nationwide points.

With a newly elected parliament and president, Madeira mentioned, “the doors are now open for a new chapter in the history of Somalia to be written.”

He mentioned the Somali individuals have the chance to reconcile amongst themselves, finish warfare and convey peace to the nation, promote its financial improvement “and restore Somalia to its former glory and beyond.”

Swan warned, nonetheless, that Somalia faces a worsening humanitarian state of affairs following the failure of the fourth consecutive wet season, one other key challenge.

He mentioned 6.1 million individuals at the moment are affected by drought and 6 communities face a danger of famine if meals costs proceed to rise and humanitarian support falters.

He referred to as for pressing contributions, saying nearly midway by way of the 12 months the U.N. humanitarian attraction for $1.45 billion for Somalia is simply 15% funded.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield mentioned that after greater than 4 years of political infighting, reconciliation between the brand new authorities and states is significant to sort out critical challenges. She mentioned that features going through the “menacing threat” of al-Shabab, which suggests “alleviating the horrific humanitarian conditions that inspire extremism.”

She additionally urged the brand new authorities and worldwide group to make sure that Somalis don’t go hungry or thirsty, warning that the the nation might be pushed “over the brink of famine” if Russia’s warfare on Ukraine continues to forestall wheat and different meals from reaching Somalia.

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