1. The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 2275 (2016) and paragraph 44 of Security Council resolution 2297 (2016). It reports on the implementation of those resolutions, including on the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and any challenges faced by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) in carrying out its mandate. The report covers major developments in Somalia during the period from 1 May to 31 August 2016.
II. Political and security overview
A. Political developments
2. The reporting period witnessed intensified political activity, relating in particular to the 2016 political transition. Faced with a protracted parliamentary stalemate, the President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, issued a decree on 22 May endorsing the parameters of the electoral process as previously agreed by all federal and regional leaders. On 7 August, the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team, an ad hoc body charged with the implementation of the 2016 vote, announced a timeline in which the election of members of the Upper House of Parliament would be held on 25 September and that of members of the Lower House of Parliament from 24 September to 10 October. The President of Somalia will be elected on 30 October.
3. On 9 August, the National Leadership Forum, comprising federal and regional leaders, endorsed the electoral timeline and agreed unanimously on a limited extension for the federal institutions, including an extension of the President’s mandate, which was due to expire on 10 September in accordance with the electoral timetable. At the same meeting, adjustments were made to the planned composition of the Upper House in respect of the representation of Banaadir, “Somaliland”, and Hiraan and Shabelle Dhexe.
4. The Federal Parliament amended the Provisional Federal Constitution on 15 June by extending its validity until 2020 and extending the current Parliament’s term in office until the appointment of a new Parliament through the 2016 electoral process.
5. The National Leadership Forum met regularly during the reporting period and decided on some key issues, including approval of Somalia’s national security policy, the appointment of a committee to develop recommendations on the status of the capital, Mogadishu, and approval of the new policing model developed by federal and regional stakeholders with facilitation by UNSOM.
6. Institution-building and reconciliation processes continued in existing and emerging federal member states. Following the conclusion of a reconciliation process with the Marehan clan, the President of the Interim Jubba Administration, Sheikh Ahmed Islam “Madobe”, announced the formation of a 34-member cabinet, including one female minister, which was approved subsequently by the Jubba Regional Assembly.
7. In the Galmudug Interim Administration, Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a renewed its commitment to negotiations with the Federal Government to facilitate the implementation of the electoral process in Dhuusamarreeb, the agreed future capital of the emerging federal member state. However, the negotiations have yet to begin, and the electoral process is expected to take place in Cadaado, the interim capital.
8. In the Interim South-West Administration, tensions between the Bimaal and Habar Gidir clans in Marka, Shabelle Hoose, continued to impede the consolidation of State authority. The Federal Government engaged in a renewed reconciliation effort between the two clans; however, prospects for talks were impeded by the temporary seizure by Al-Shabaab of parts of Marka on 11 July.
9. In Puntland, the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission started a review of the state-level electoral law, which envisages the formation of political associations and district-level elections in 2018. The process will provide the foundation for the Puntland state assembly and presidential elections in 2019.
10. The state formation process in Hiraan and Shabelle Dhexe, the only regions yet to form an emerging federal member state, continued to face resistance from several Hiraan-based clans, in particular the largest clan, the Hawadle. Several Hawadle elders are in talks with Abgal counterparts from Shabelle Dhexe to agree on a power-sharing arrangement, which could lay the foundation for state formation. At the request of the Federal Government, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is mediating between the clans and has expressed its resolve to conclude the state formation process prior to the implementation of the electoral process. However, some see IGAD as forcing a process that may lack inclusiveness and could lead to confrontation between clans.
11. Talks between the Federal Government and “Somaliland” authorities remained static. In preparation for parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for March 2017, “Somaliland” concluded voter registration exercises in Togdheer, Sahil, Gebiley, Awdal, Maroodijeex and Sanaag regions, with only Sool region remaining. In response to the conduct of the voter registration exercise by “Somaliland” in the disputed Sanaag region, clashes erupted between “Somaliland” and Puntland forces on 18 July, resulting in five troops being killed. The two sides subsequently agreed to de-escalate tensions by, among other things, redeploying their forces.