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US imposes visa bans on Somali politicians accused of delaying elections


GOOBJOOG NEWS/WASHINGTON DC: The United States on Friday issued visa bans to Somali leaders and individuals “responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process” in Somalia.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said the United States has imposed visa bans following the failure to meet the February 25 election deadline, which is the reason for the political, security and economic turmoil experienced in the country.

“Following the failure to meet another self-established deadline of February 25 for completion of parliamentary elections, the National Consultative Council extended the deadline to March 15.  Dozens of parliamentary seats are still unfilled and there is no clear plan to conclude the process.  We are now imposing visa restrictions under this policy against a number of Somali officials and other individuals to promote accountability for their obstructionist actions”, read the statement.

The United Stations has therefore called for the rapid completion of Somalia’s parliamentary and presidential elections in a transparent and credible manner, warning that the U.S. “will evaluate additional actions under this policy and other tools at our disposal to promote accountability and to support Somalia’s democratic process”.