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Chinese envoy asks Somali parties to advance electoral and political processes

Locals wade through a flooded street after bursting of a river in Beledweyne, central Somalia, May 17, 2020. (Photo by Hassan Bashi/Xinhua)

Somalia is entering a critical stage with the elections on top of its priorities, said a Chinese envoy.

UNITED NATIONS, May 21 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy on Thursday asked parties in Somalia to work together for peaceful elections and to advance the political process.

Somalia is entering a critical stage with the elections on top of its priorities, said Yao Shaojun, China’s acting deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

The Somali president has signed the electoral bill into law. The national electoral security task force adopted its terms of reference and reviewed the draft concept of security for voter registration, he noted.

This progress fully demonstrates Somalia’s strong willingness to promote peaceful elections. China supports all parties in Somalia to proceed from the fundamental interests of the country, enhance cooperation and dialogue, and jointly advance the electoral and political processes, Yao told the Security Council.

The international community should provide constructive assistance on the basis of respect for Somalia’s ownership and leadership. China has consistently advocated African countries addressing African issues in African ways, he said.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has been playing a significant role in maintaining peace and stability in Somalia. China supports AMISOM in continuing to carry out its mandate, and in helping strengthen the capacities of Somalia national security forces so that they can gradually assume security responsibilities, he said.

Yao asked the UN Security Council to listen more to the African Union.

China strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. AMISOM and UN Assistance Mission in Somalia have greatly helped Somalia combat terrorist activities, he said.

Terrorist attacks targeting UN and AMISOM facilities is a matter of grave concern. China calls on all relevant parties to take pragmatic measures to effectively guarantee the safety and security of UN and AU staff and their facilities in Somalia, he said.

Somali locals produce face masks in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, April 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Hassan Bashi)

The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with locust infestation and floods, have worsened the humanitarian situation in Somalia. China appreciates measures already taken by the Somali government to prevent and control the pandemic, said Yao.

Limited by its economic and social development conditions, Somalia is more vulnerable and less capable of responding to the disaster. The international community should continue to provide constructive assistance to help Somalia overcome difficulties and achieve sustainable and independent development at an early date, he said.

The Chinese government and enterprises have donated multiple batches of medical supplies to Somalia and shared experience and best practices through video conference with Somali medical stuff. China will continue to make its own contributions, he said. 

Source: Xinhua

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