U.S. expresses deep concern about political feud within Somalia’s leadership

WASHINGTON (Xinhua) –The United States said on Monday it is deeply concerned about the political feud within the leadership in Somalia, while urging its parliament not to proceed with a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed.

“The United States notes with concern the recent political turmoil in Somalia. Actions to put forward a parliamentary motion for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister do not serve the interests of the Somali people,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

A no-confidence motion against the prime minister, was submitted last Thursday to the Somali Parliament’s speaker with the signatures of 140 lawmakers. The vote could be held on Nov. 15 after debate in the 275-member parliament.

Ahmed announced 0ct. 25 to reshuffle the cabinet without prior consulting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who later declared the reshuffle “null and void” and urged the affected ministers to carry on with their duties.

Ahmed’s re-organization swapped the positions of the minister of livestock and animal husbandry and the minister of justice and constitutional affairs, and also impacted two state ministers and four deputy ministers.

Psaki said that while the U.S. remains neutral in the dispute between the Somali president and prime minister, it is “committed to the principles of the New Deal Compact which aims to build a sovereign, secure, democratic, united, and federal Somalia.”

Because Somalia’ s leadership is distracted with political division, the U.S. decided not to send a delegation to the High Level Partnership Forum on Somalia, which will meet next week in Copenhagen to review progress under the New Deal.

“We stand with the international community in urging the Federal Government of Somalia to implement fully its Vision 2016 plan and rise above the political differences that divert from the important work of unifying the country under a federal framework,” Psaki said.

She was referring to the Vision 2016 Conference convened early September in Mogadishu by Mohamud and attended by more than 200 delegates. It set important goals for the country’s political future of security and stability, including the completion of a constitutional review, formation of federal states, and the conduct of national elections.

 

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