Somalia’s president invites regional leaders for talks in Mogadishu

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud invited regional state leaders for talks in Mogadishu to end an escalating row, Caasimada Online news website reported on Saturday.

Regional and federal ministers of finance walked out of meeting over funds allocated for the state authorities, weeks after five federal member states announced that they had suspended cooperation with the federal government. Talks aimed at ending the impasse failed to make headway and broke down last week.

Presidents of the federal member states are set to arrive in Mogadishu within days ahead of a meeting scheduled to be held this week. Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe and the President of Hirshabelle Ali Gudlawe landed at Adan Adde International Airport on Saturday.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh wants to end the long-standing tensions between the federal government and regional states before his trip to Kenyan capital Nairobi, where he would attend the inauguration of new President-elect William Ruto.

Efforts by the state presidents to consolidate their grip on power and mandate extensions are some of the grim challenges facing Mohamud, who was elected in May. His predecessor’s term was marred by political wrangling and disputes with the regional state leaders.

Jubaland and Southwest leaders have extended their terms in office while some of their fellow regional presidents are planning to follow suit. Somali President is still silent about the moves due to fear that his comments may add further tinder to the already worsening relations with them.

Despite his campaign promise of “Somalis at peace with themselves”, no end is insight to the power struggles between federal and regional states that hampered the previous administrations.

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