UN urges for dialogue among Somalia leaders

The U.N. envoy for Somalia urged the country’s leaders on Monday to take “bold steps” to ensure that 2020 sets the fragile Horn of Africa country on a trajectory to peace and stability, not more political division and increasing extremism.

James Swan said Somalia and its international partners agreed in October on the priorities Somalia “must not fail” to achieve in 2020. They include achieving debt relief, holding one-person one-vote elections, finalizing the federal constitution, advancing the fight against al-Shabab extremists, and consolidating the federal state.

He told the U.N. Security Council there has been “good progress” on economic priorities.

The executive boards of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank recently confirmed Somalia’s eligibility for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, Swan said, and key legislation has been passed to strengthen the country’s fiscal framework.

But Swan said that for Somalia to achieve “its ambitious priorities,” the country’s leaders and key stakeholders must work together and that isn’t happening