Somalia faces risk of US withdrawal and political crisis

Tensions are rising sharply in Somalia, and the country's fragile political system is grappling with deeply contested elections, just as US forces begin to withdraw from them.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, James Swan, told the BBC that Somalia is at an important watershed moment, and warned that the "positions and conflicts" of national and regional leaders within the country, and their disagreements over the postponement of parliamentary elections, could lead to violence.

A group of powerful organizations and countries, including the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union peacekeeping mission, issued a strong statement, urging political elites in Somalia to seek dialogue, writing: "Any threat to use violence is unacceptable."

Last year, Somalia was scheduled to hold its first elections under the slogan of "one vote for one person, a landmark step for a country that has long been torn apart.”


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