Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud said the nation is on track to hold elections in 2016 with its campaign against al-Shabaab militants helping build a secure environment for the vote.
“I believe that free and fair elections will take place in the country and this is the reality on the ground,” Mohamoud said Wednesday in an address broadcast on state television. He said the government has no intention of delaying the polling and thereby extending his term in office.
Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab is waging an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation, staging gun and grenade attacks to try and destabilize the government and impose Islamic law.
Mohamoud’s speech comes a day after Secretary of State John Kerry became the first senior U.S. official to visit Somalia in more than two decades.