Text Messages Blamed for Collapse of Somalia Government and Opposition Talks


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Text messages have been blamed after talks between Somalia’s government and the opposition collapsed on Thursday night, just two days before protests against the incumbent leader are scheduled to take place in Mogadishu nearly a month after his term ended.

Opposition leaders said the talks, which initially made progress late last month, collapsed due to messages frequently sent to the Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble by the country’s leader Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who rebuffed demands put forward by the opposition, include stripping him of power to give orders to security forces and steer talks on the electoral process.

Among other key sticking points the Prime Minister argued he could not independently decide on, included participation of opposition leaders in the electoral talks currently between the federal government and regional states.

The Prime Minister and his cabinet stated they were unable to reach decision on all those issues that resulted in a walkout from meeting at heavily fortified Decale Hotel inside the Somali capital’s Adan Adde International Airport.

“Alliance [of opposition] presidential candidates proposed several issues to be solved, including security of the elections, the reopening of political platforms, decisions on term-ended president and issues related with the Alliance’s participation in the scheduled summit [on elections],” said Abdirahman Abdishakur, the leader of Wadajir opposition party.

“Text messages have been sent all night to Roble [and] tonight’s talks have been broken down by those sending the messages.”

Mohamed Hussein Roble, whose government’s mandate expired weeks ago, reiterated that his government assures welcome for talks and that “it is needed [the sides] to express sincerity and compromise, and not to create fresh obstacles and differences”.

Opposition leaders have accused president Farmajo of exerting efforts in undermining the talks, though the Somali leader had previously welcomed a deal signed between his prime minister and the opposition on February 25.

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