Galmudug Leader and UAE Officials Had a Secret Meeting in Nairobi

NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Galmudug leader Ahmed Qoorqoor had a secret meeting with UAE officials in a hotel in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi where the two sides discussed a wide range of issues from economic and security cooperation – to providing developmental aid as the region struggles to reconstruct key infrastructure areas.

The regional Somali President departed from Mogadishu on Friday, a day before meeting between federal and regional leaders was due to open in the city to decide on the key aspects of the upcoming elections. He later arrived in Nairobi as his presence there has sparked growing speculations.

Galmudug President Ahmed Qoorqoor checked in Four Points Hotel in Nairobi’s Joma Kenyatta airport soon after his arrival, where he had an undisclosed meeting with UAE diplomats. The meeting saw Qoorqoor attend dinner with the representatives of the United Arab Emirates government who promised him assistance on a number of forefronts to take his region forward independently, without the support of the federal government and its allies of Turkey and Qatar.

Before his trip to Nairobi, the meeting was arranged to occur in Djibouti, but Emirati officials refused due to unspecified issues that resulted in rearranging the schedule and the place where the meeting had to take place, in the course of which UAE diplomats urged Qoorqoor to arrive in the Kenyan capital.

What did the two sides focus on during the meeting?

Mr. Qoorqoor met the UAE representative of the East Africa, Hussein Darwish al-Shamsi with whom he talked about specific areas to which assistance should be diverted, so that Galmudug could reach self-sufficiency in the years to come. Among the key areas that the regional leader mentioned are security and infrastructure.

The UAE officials pledged to earmark funds for the construction of Dhusamareb airport and Hobyo port. According to sources close to Galmudug leader, Emirati diplomats also said they would train, equip and fund regional forces to ensure Galmudug state can sustain itself.

Galmudug leader urged al-Shamsi to arrange meeting with the United Arab Emirates top government officials to further progress relations and create an environment conducive for ensuring that bilateral commitments and reciprocal duties have been cared for.

How could this meeting affect Qoorqoor’s relations with President Farmajo?

The meeting is feared to trigger split between Galmudug and federal leadership, as the incumbent President  Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo maintains ties with Qatar, a bitter enemy of the United Arab Emirates that shows no tolerance in Emirati influence whatsoever in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.

It goes without saying that Galmudug has made this move in retaliation over Qatar’s failure to deliver on promise to construct Hobyo port and help the region in key infrastructural areas, and as a result opted for UAE support at the expense of Doha and the Somali federal government.

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