MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on Monday left the capital Mogadishu for a visit to Ethiopia, in his first trip abroad since April when an extension of his term in office flared tensions and led to clashes between rival army factions.
The embattled Somali president arrived in Addis Ababa where he has received a green-yellow carpet welcome from the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
He is due to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new Ethiopian government, months after Abiy won elections held in the strife-torn nation.
Ethiopia’s parliament confirmed Abiy as prime minister for a five-year term on Monday, cementing his power locally amid growing international pressure over his government’s handling of the conflict in Tigray region.
For Farmajo, Abiy is an indispensable ally who has helped him in his attempt to weaken regional states and stamp his authority on key regions where he has been able to put his associates in charge.
Several Horn of Africa leaders are expected not to attend the ceremony due to frosty ties with Addis Ababa. Sudan’s prime minister Abdalla Hamdok is one of those regional leaders who have decided not to participate in the event, sources within the government have been quoted as saying by Al Sharq news website on Sunday.
The visit of the Somali president to Ethiopia comes amid escalating rift with the prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, nominally over the murder of a female spy despite growing international calls for bringing the political wrangling to an end before it reaches a point of no-return and undermines long-delayed elections.
Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is expected to hold talks with the Ethiopian prime minister and other African heads of states during his visit to Ethiopia as his re-election bid faces uncertainty.
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