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UN chief in Somalia ‘regrets’ absence of Deni, Madobe in Dhusamareb talks

Thursday August 20, 2020

NEW YORK (HOL) - The UN head in Somalia James Swan has expressed regrets over failure by Puntland and Jubbaland leaders to attend the ongoing electoral talks in Dhusamareb noting the meeting was instrumental in charting way forward for the upcoming elections.

Swan told the UN Security Council Thursday it was regrettable President Abdullahi Deni (Puntland) and his Jubbaland counterpart Ahmed Madobe had boycotted the meeting.

“We regret, therefore, the absence of Puntland President Said Deni and Jubaland President Ahmed Islam Madobe from this important meeting,” Swan said.

“It is disappointing that they declined to participate despite repeated appeals from other Somali political leaders and international partners.”

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The two leaders are yet to make way to Dhusamareb despite pleas by their counterparts from South West, Galmudug and HirShabelle.

Host president Ahmed Qoorqor said Monday while officially opening the talks he was optimistic the two will still turn up noting it was necessary to ‘have out missing brothers here’.

Swan also told the Council that the removal of Prime Minister Hassan Khaire had negatively impacted progress in the Dhusamareb talks ‘as some FMSes and political parties reacted negatively to the abrupt removal of the Prime Minister from office.’

On the war against Al-Shabaab, the UN head said generation of more Somali forces had been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic warning of an increasing trend in attacks by the militant group.

Swan also called for reintroduction of the 2018 Sexual Offenses Bill noting the newly introduced Bill by some lawmakers ‘violates protections against child marriage and forced marriage, and it is not in conformity with international human rights commitments to which Somalia is a party.’

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