Nairobi‐August 16th, 2012:-As Somalia gears up for elections of a new administration expected later this month, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Ambassador Boubacar Diarra, has urged Somali security forces to respect the right of all candidates to conduct peaceful campaigns.
Ambassador Diarra said AMISOM would remain impartial during the campaign and election period.
“At this critical time, our role is to provide a secure atmosphere for the conduct of the elections and the peaceful transfer of power. As part of this effort, we are deploying extra troops and police ‐including Formed Police Units‐ into Mogadishu and are working closely with Somali security forces to ensure security for the population,” he said. "We also urge other allied forces to ensure that all citizens can enjoy their rights to peaceful assembly and expression," he added.
“When called upon and depending on the availability of resources, AMISOM may provide secure transportation to key personalities via its armored convoys. This should not be construed as endorsement of their candidature,” he said.
AMISOM military successes over the past year, including the liberation of the capital from the brutal rule of Al Qaeda‐affiliated terror group Al‐Shabaab last August, have enabled the Somali peace process to make substantial progress. Two weeks ago, a National Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a provisional constitution for the country, paving the way for the Transitional Federal Government to hand over power to a more legitimate and representative political order.