Somali leaders sign landmark deal to hold delayed elections

Somalia's political leaders on Thursday reached a landmark deal that will pave wave for the delayed presidential and parliamentary elections.

The deal was penned in Mogadishu by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, leaders of five federal member states and governor of Banadir Regional Administration, following four days of consultative talks on the electoral process.

After the announcement of the deal, Roble thanked President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo "for his efforts in the electoral process and for the concessions he made that led to the agreement we are celebrating today."

The deal comes nearly four weeks after President Farmaajo tasked Prime Minister Roble with leading the Horn of African country's preparation for the delayed elections.

Farmajo made the announcement after rescinding a decision to extend his mandate by two years.

The extension of the president's mandate has sparked chaos in the capital Mogadishu, as government troops clashed with opposition forces.

Thursday's deal has been hailed by the United Kingdom as being 'historic'.

"We commend Prime Minister Mohamed H. Roble for his leadership, and all participants for putting Somalia's stability, security and development first," said a statement by the U.K. in Somalia.

"This agreement now sets the path to rapid elections. Continued engagement in good faith and a willingness to resolve disputes through dialogue will remain important in the months ahead."

"We welcome the commitment by Somalia's leaders to move swiftly towards peaceful, transparent and credible elections – ensuring election security and reaffirming commitment to 30% women's quota in parliament. Successful elections will underpin Somalia's stability and growth."

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