Somalia: Security Council calls for unity amid political crisis

Wide view of the Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

Wide view of the Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

Somalia, 10 December 2014 – The United Nations Security Council announced today that it has taken note of a recent parliamentary vote of “no confidence” resulting in the political ouster of Somalia’s Prime Minister amid a surge of political instability and extremist violence in the East African country.

The Somali Parliament dismissed Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed on 6 December due to reported disputes between Mr. Ahmed and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over political appointments.

In its press statement, released early this evening, the 15-member Council underlined the “vital importance” of a united political leadership in the war-torn country and expressed concern over the impact that the latest developments may have on peace and stability. In addition, it voiced concern that further political instability could “jeopardize progress made so far towards peace and security.”

Somalia has been plagued by political infighting and outbursts of extremist violence as the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, continues to wage a simmering insurgency. Most recently, in the city of Baidoa, a terrorist attack left at least fifteen people dead with many more wounded.

Despite the no confidence vote, the Security Council said it welcomed the resolution of the current political crisis through “the proper Parliamentary channels” and commended the Prime Minister for his acceptance of the result. Moreover, Council members underlined their “resolute support for the peace and reconciliation process” in the country and called on the new political leadership to focus on priority areas, including resuming the implementation and review of the Provisional Constitution and the passage of key legislation to establish electoral institutions.

“The Security Council reiterated their support for fast implementation of ‘Vision 2016.’ In that context they underlined the importance of the President swiftly appointing a new Prime Minister and the subsequent rapid establishment of an inclusive and representative government,” the statement continued, adding that the members stressed that “swift and sustained” restoration of political stability remained “vital” at a time when operations against Al-Shabaab continue.