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UN Envoy for Somalia addresses Issues related to Feds and Somaliland

Mogadishu (SD) -The United Nations Special Envoy for Somalia, Catriona Laing, and other top officials held a press conference in Mogadishu, on Wednesday to commemorate UN Day where she discussed issues related to the conflict between the federal government and Puntland and the situation in Las Anod.

Catriona Laing urged the Somali government to engage with Puntland in political negotiations, particularly within the framework of the National Consultative Council, as they have recently had important talks between the federal government and the country’s regional administrations.

“We are at quite a crucial moment where we need to agree collectively, under the leadership of the Government, [on] the way forward on elections, the kind of models that Somalia will pursue, the timeline, the sequencing of elections, and of course, very importantly, to try and bring Puntland back into this process because it will be very hard to complete not just elections, but the whole legislative framework and the process around developing a constitution for Somalia,” Ms. Laing said.

Adding “Without a constitution, a country will find it very hard to move forward. A constitution [is] essentially the ‘rules of the game’ which govern how a country is legislated, is governed. And Somalia really needs that constitution to be nailed down; as you know, it is still working on a draft constitution,”.

She stressed the need to include women in comprehensive agreements concerning critical issues, especially those related to upcoming elections in the country. She also mentioned that if a consensus is not reached with Puntland’s leadership, it may jeopardize the electoral process.

The UN Special Envoy for Somalia also addressed the situation in Las Anod, calling on the SSC-Khatumo administration and Somaliland to peacefully exchange their captured prisoners of war.

“The underlying drivers of this conflict, which resulted in a number of people killed and a number of prisoners taken, need still to be resolved,” Ms. Laing said, while flagging that the United Nations has been engaging with all parties involved in the conflict.

During her speech, The UN Envoy urged the parties to refrain from further violence in Las Anod. She stressed the need to resolve the conflict between SSC and Somaliland peacefully, emphasizing the United Nations’ commitment to supporting peace efforts and conflict resolution.

“The three messages are, number one, please make progress on the detainee exchange as a confidence-building measure. Secondly, it’s important for everyone to commit to no more violence, and thirdly, of course, to find a peaceful solution to the disputed territory,” she added.

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