The best path toward sustainable peace in Somalia is through the rapid conclusion of credible elections. The United States has repeatedly expressed concern over the delays and procedural irregularities in Somalia’s electoral process and the broader implications of those irregularities for the country’s democracy and stability.
Today, on the one-year anniversary of the expiration of the Somali president’s term in office, I am announcing the implementation of a policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act that restricts the issuance of visas to current or former Somali officials or other individuals who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Somalia, including through violence against protestors, unjust arrests or intimidation of journalists and opposition members, and manipulation of the electoral process. Immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.
This policy will apply to individuals who have played a role in procedural irregularities that have undermined the electoral process, who have failed to follow through with their obligations to implement timely and transparent elections, and who have targeted journalists and opposition party members with harassment, intimidation, arrest, and violence.
Somalia’s national and federal member state leaders must follow through on their commitments to complete the parliamentary process in a credible and transparent manner by February 25, which will further lay the groundwork for responsive governance in Somalia. The United States strongly supports the Somali people, and we are committed to working together to advance democracy and mutual prosperity for both of our countries.