AU says security beefed up for Somali leaders’ meeting on elections

African Union

The African Union top envoy in Somalia has assured the country’s leaders of increased security during a two-day meeting of key election stakeholders in Mogadishu.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the AU Commission to Somalia and head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) who held talks on Sunday with presidential candidates, including presidents of the three federal member states, said the technical and security aspects for the meeting, due to take place inside the Aden Abdulle International Airport complex, have been completed.

“I wish to assure all Somali leaders, the public and other stakeholders that AMISOM, in coordination with its partners, has put in place the necessary measures to ensure that the meeting takes place in a conducive, secure and peaceful environment in which all parties feel comfortable to participate,” Madeira said in a statement issued on Sunday evening.

Madeira said the discussed issues related to the overall security of the AMISOM Base Camp and the security of participants to the planned meeting of key Somali leaders to finalize a deal on the electoral process.He said the AU mission will guarantee security before, during and after the meeting of all the signatories of the Sept. 17 2020 pre-election deal.

The meeting aims to finalize the implementation of the electoral model, building on the work of the technical committee, which met in Baidoa in the southwest region on Feb. 15-17.”I sincerely applaud Somali leaders for converging in Mogadishu and agreeing to hold this important meeting to resolve outstanding issues so that elections can take place,” Madeira said.

The meeting comes amid threats from al-Shabab, which is fighting to topple the internationally-backed government, to disrupt the parliamentary and presidential elections.

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