Insecurity has once again gripped Somalia after recent attacks perpetrated by Islamist militant group al-Shabaab. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, 44 individuals who took part in the country’s last general elections were killed for their role in the formation of the current Somali government
Those targeted include clan elders and electoral delegates who picked representatives of the current 275-member parliament. Fifteen of them were targeted in the run to the presidential poll in February last year, with 29 other targeted after the election of the Somali president.
Al-Shabaab has been named as the main culprit in most killings – with the UN Human Rights Council now calling on state and non-state actors to ensure the protection of human rights. Due to that threat, an electoral college was constituted made up of 14,000 delegates.
51 representatives picked by clan elders helped elect each of the 275 federal parliamentarians who later voted for a president last year – in one of the most competitive polls in Somalia history.
Al-Shabaab has waged war in the horn of African region for over a decade, killing tens of thousands and displacing millions others.
The displacements have created a refugee and humanitarian crisis in Somalia, causing suffering to millions of Somalis.
This was even made worse by a drought that hit the country in 2016/17, causing famine and malnutrition across the country.
The UN however hopes that regional and international efforts to pacify Somalia will bear fruits before the next election, which will be conducted in three years.
The country’s electoral commission has registered more than a dozen political parties since president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo came to office last year vowing of a return to democracy.