Somalia: Peaceful transfer of power following a Presidential election but the country remains fraught with safety concerns
Somalia’s new President and the first to serve two non-consecutive terms defeated Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ Abdullahi Mohamed by 214-110 votes in a third-round runoff. Only 329 members of parliament voted in these elections. It was not possible to hold a public election on account of the serious safety concerns in the country. The Mogadishu-based Coalition of Somali Human Rights Defenders (CSHRDs) is concerned by allegations of vote-rigging as well as challenges to the exercise of rights for women and minority communities to have their respective representatives contest elections. The CSHRDs also raised concerns about independent media being denied access to the election hall.
According to Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, ICJ’s Africa Director, “The 15 May election was followed by a peaceful transfer of power from the incumbent which bodes well for stability. The new President however inherits serious problems including terrorism and safety and security. In addition, some 3.5 million people need food aid following the worst drought in four decades”. Somalia has endured conflict and clan battles with no strong central government since the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Mohamud is from the Hawiye clan that dominates south and central Somalia.
According to Asad Dhayow Dalmar; Executive Director of the CSHRDs, “Somali needs to establish a Constitutional Court and draft a transitional justice plan. The country must also ratify The Rome Statute and establish an independent Human Rights Commission. The CSHRD are deeply concerned about the unfolding humanitarian crisis”.
Asad Dhayow; CSHRDs executive director added, “Many areas in southern part of Somalia remain under the control of the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab group and the provision of humanitarian assistance to these parts of the country is fraught with difficulties. The drought and related climate crisis could lead to famine and serious loss of life”. The CSHRDs are concerned about the safety of civilians, IDPs, and refugees in Somalia. They state that there are regular reports of casualties and serious human rights violations taking place on a regular basis.
23 May 2022
Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, ICJ, Email: Kaajal.Keogh@icj.org
Asad Dhayow D., Email: Somaliacshrds3@gmail.com, phone: +252611247779