U.S. Places Visa Bans on Somalis Linked to Delayed Elections

The United States (U.S.) has placed visa restrictions on officials in Somalia, believed to have played a part in delaying parliamentary elections that were to be concluded by Friday last week.

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said the entry ban on some unnamed officials and their families would “promote accountability for their obstructionist actions.”

Somalia’s National Consultative Council had extended the elections deadline to March 15, after several parliamentary seats remained empty by the elapse of the self-established deadline on February 25.

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken

“Procedural irregularities and partisan use of security forces have undermined an electoral process that is more than a year behind schedule.

“Journalists and opposition party members working to support democratic institutions and transparent processes have been targeted with harassment, intimidation, arrest, and violence,” Mr Blinken said in a press statement.

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