UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday congratulated Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo upon his election as the federal president of Somalia, voicing his hope that the president-elect “will move expeditiously to form an inclusive cabinet.”
The secretary-general, in a statement issued here by his spokesman, commended the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a peace keeping mission operated by the African Union in Somalia with approval by the United Nations, and the Somali security forces for ensuring a secure environment during the poll.
Guterres said “the new government and federal member states should together tackle urgent national priorities immediately, including finalizing the constitution and establishing effective national security forces.”
“The current humanitarian situation created by the drought and the imperative of averting a famine should, however, be at the top of the agenda,” said the statement. “The United Nations stands ready to support the government in this regard.”
Meanwhile, the secretary-general also expressed his appreciation to international partners, including the African Union, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the League of Arab States and donor countries for their vital support to the electoral process and continuing humanitarian assistance.
Guterres commended former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and former Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke for the work done during their terms of office and for facilitating a smooth handover to the new president.
Earlier Thursday, the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) issued a statement welcoming the conclusion of presidential elections, and congratulating Farmajo on his victory.
The statement noted that President Farmajo will face formidable challenges, particularly with regard to the country’s worsening drought crisis and the possibility of famine, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, adding that security is another area of key concern.
Farmajo, the former prime minister in Somalia’s transitional federal government between 2009 and 2010, was elected the new president of Somalia on Wednesday.