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Situation in Somalia - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2022/392)

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UN SC
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I. Introduction

1. The present report, submitted pursuant to paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 2592 (2021) and paragraph 54 of resolution 2628 (2022), provides updates on the implementation of those resolutions, including on the mandates of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS). The report covers significant developments from 1 February to 6 May 2022.

II. Political and security overview

A. Political and electoral developments and United Nations activities

2. During the reporting period, considerable progress was made towards the completion of the electoral process, with all 275 House of the People seats elected as at 6 May. A total of 54 women, or 20 per cent, of the 275 were elected, falling short of the 30 per cent target and representing a decrease from the 24 per cent achieved in 2016. On 14 April, the inauguration ceremony for the eleventh Parliament took place in Mogadishu, with 290 newly elected members of the Upper House and the House of the People sworn in. On 26 April, Abdi Hashi Abdullahi was re-elected as Speaker and Ali Shaban Ibrahim and Abdullahi Ali Hirsi were re-elected as Deputy Speakers of the Upper House. On 27 and 28 April, Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur “Adan Madobe” was elected as Speaker of the House of the People, while Sadia Yasin Haji Samatar was elected as First Deputy Speaker and Abdullahi Omar Abshir “Abshirow” as Second Deputy Speaker. Sadia Yasin Haji Samatar is the first ever female Deputy Speaker in the history of Somalia. The parliamentary Committee tasked with organizing the presidential elections announced that the elections would be held on 15 May.

3. The elections saw delays in February and March. The timeline announced by the National Consultative Council in January, whereby the House of the People elections were expected to conclude by 25 February, was met only for the Banaadir and Somaliland seats. On 24 February, the Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, extended the deadline to 15 March. Galmudug and South-West States completed their respective electoral processes by 15 March, while Puntland completed the process on 18 March. On 15 March, the Federal Electoral Implementation Team published an updated timetable, announcing that parliament would be sworn in on 14 April but did not indicate a timeline for the completion of the House of the People or presidential elections.

4. Hirshabelle and Jubbaland States faced challenges in completing the House of the People elections, in particular in the second voting locations of Beledweyne and Garbahaarrey. In Hirshabelle, the President, Ali Abdullahi Hussein “Gudlawe” engaged with various clan elders, militia leaders and politicians in Beledweyne to defuse tensions between his administration and the Hawadle clan on the elections and broader power-sharing disputes. President Gudlawe and Hawadle leaders reportedly reached an informal understanding on 8 February to focus on the elections, which subsequently started on 20 February. Following complaints from clan elders and opposition candidates over the lack of transparency of the electoral process, President Gudlawe replaced the Chairperson of the Hirshabelle State Election Implementation Team on 20 March. Contestation over one House of the People seat continued to delay the finalization of the House of the People elections in Hirshabelle.

5. The organization of elections in Garbahaarrey, Gedo Region, the second designated polling location for Jubbaland State according to the agreement of 17 September 2020, remained a source of contention between the President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo”, and the President of Jubbaland, Ahmed Mohamed Islam “Madobe”. In accordance with the outcome document of the meeting of the National Consultative Council, held on 24 February, the Prime Minister appointed a fact-finding committee on 28 February to assess the conditions for conducting the electoral process in Garbahaarrey. On 2 March, the committee met with Jubbaland officials and other election stakeholders based in Kismaayo. However, the Gedo regional administration barred the fact-finding committee from visiting Garbahaarrey, questioning the neutrality of its chairperson. Efforts to reach an agreement on the process have been unsuccessful. On 14 April, the Federal Electoral Implementation Team announced that the 16 Garbahaarrey seats would be moved to Ceel Waaq, Gedo Region. In a separate statement, also issued on 14 April, the Governor of Gedo Region invited elders, candidates and electoral bodies to Garbahaarrey to hold elections there. Consequently, parallel elections for the 16 Gedo seats were held on 22 and 23 April in El Wak and on 23 April in Garbahaarrey, with both groups of Members of Parliament claiming to represent the seats from Gedo.

6. On 31 March, the Federal Electoral Implementation Team published a list of the elected Members of Parliament for both the Upper House and the House of the People. The list excluded four House of the People seats, three for South-West State and one for Hirshabelle State. On 6 April, the Federal Electoral Implementation Team cited irregularities in the processes as the reason. As a result, South-West State recalled its newly elected parliamentarians for consultations and suspended cooperation with the Prime Minister on election matters. Following discussions betwe en the Chair of the Federal Electoral Implementation Team and the State President, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed “Laftagareen”, aimed at resolving the issue before the swearing-in of Parliament, two of the South-West State seats initially excluded by the Federal Electoral Implementation Team were recognized on 13 April and the third was re-run.
The Hirshabelle seat decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which declined to adjudicate on the matter. The seat remains pending.

7. On 4 April, the Prime Minister dismissed the former Chair and SecretaryGeneral of the Federal Electoral Implementation Team, accusing him of involvement in attempts to disrupt the process of swearing in newly elected parliamentarians. Five other members of the body received warnings.

8. Reports of electoral irregularities continued to circulate during the reporting period. In a press release issued on 29 March, the Election Dispute Resolution Committee stated that it had adjudicated six complaints relating to House of the People seats. The Committee stated that 25 complaints would be referred to the National Consultative Council as they involved “violations of multiple rights”, but no meeting of the Council took place on the issue.

9. Following the convening of the Eleventh Parliament, the Interim Speaker, Abdisalam Haji “Dhabancad”, swore in the 16 Members of Parliament elected from El Wak on 25 April. Not recognizing his decision, the 16 Members from Garbahaarrey demanded to be recognized as the legitimate Members of Parliament from Gedo. This controversy delayed the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers of the House of the People on 27 April. However, the vote went ahead after a compromise was reached which prevented both groups of 16 Members from voting in the election, while remaining in the election venue. After his election as Speaker, on 8 May, Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur, after consultations, formally recognized the 16 Members from Gedo as the legitimate representatives from that region.

10. My Special Representative and his team, jointly with international partners, continued to engage with all key stakeholders, including Mr. Farmajo, the Prime Minister, leaders of federal member states, opposition leaders and the election management bodies, to accelerate the completion of the elections, urge fulfilment of the women quota, de-escalate tensions and resolve outstanding electoral issues through dialogue and compromise. They also shared the view of the international partners that the delays in the electoral process were drawing attention away from key national priorities, including the security transition, the completion of the constitutional review and addressing the dire humanitarian situation. In an effort to encourage completion of a credible electoral process, the United Nations coordinated joint statements with international partners, which were issued on 18 February, 18 March and 14, 27 and 28 April.