January 4, 2017
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY JOHN KIRBY, SPOKESPERSON
The United States Urges Momentum in Somalia’s Electoral Process
The United States welcomes the inauguration of Somalia’s new Federal Parliament and congratulates the people of Somalia on yet another step toward political stability. Parliament must now prioritize transparency and timeliness in the election of Speakers for both houses and the subsequent election of the Federal President to ensure credibility and momentum in Somalia’s state building agenda.
However, the United States expresses grave concern over alleged reports of intimidation and malpractice in the electoral process thus far. We call on the National Leadership Forum to respect the efforts of the electoral bodies to uphold transparent and integral practices as the remaining seats in Parliament are filled, ensuring seats reserved for women are actually filled by women.
We also offer our condolences to those who were affected by al-Shabaab’s ruthless attacks against the Somali people. We condemn the recent bombings in Mogadishu targeting our partners supporting the electoral process. The United States maintains firm support for the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Somali security forces as they work to provide a secure environment for the electoral process.