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UK: For the sake of Somalia, it is vital to hold consensus-based elections as soon as possible.

Mogadishu (SD) – The UK Government has called for the immediate conduct of elections in Somalia, in the interest of security, stability and development.

In a statement from its embassy in Mogadishu, the UK also praised the decision by Prime Minister Roble and some regional leaders to reject the extension.

“For the sake of Somalia’s security, stability and development, it is vital to hold consensus-based elections as soon as possible. The United Kingdom notes President Farmajo’s decision to return to dialogue with Federal Member State leaders based on their 17 September agreement, which is the only route endorsed by the Federal Government of Somalia and all Federal Member States.” Said the UK statement.

The statement from the UK embassy in Mogadishu welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Roble and the administrations of Galmudug and HirShabelle.

“We commend Prime Minister Roble and the Federal Member State leaders for rejecting a mandate extension. We now call on the President and Federal Member State leaders to engage urgently in talks without preconditions. They should come prepared to make necessary compromises and negotiate in good faith.” said the UK statement.

The UK added that it was “deeply concerned” that failure to hold early elections could lead to greater insecurity in Mogadishu and elsewhere, which could have dire humanitarian consequences.

“We are gravely concerned that failure to move quickly towards elections could lead to greater insecurity, in Mogadishu and elsewhere, and have serious humanitarian consequences. Violence in Mogadishu has already displaced tens of thousands. Drought compounds the risks to civilian lives and livelihoods.” Said the UK statement.

The UK embassy in Mogadishu called on the troops to focus on Al Shabab and to maintain the peace.

“We call on all security forces in the capital to refrain from violence and maintain calm. It is imperative that the security forces focus their efforts on countering the common enemy of Al Shabab ensuring that it does not exploit this period of political uncertainty.”

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