MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s outgoing president has canceled an anticipated trip to Turkey where he would meet with his Kenyan counterpart to discuss thaw in diplomatic relations between the neighboring countries, Caasimada Online reported on Friday.
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, was one of the leaders invited to a Turkey-hosted Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which is scheduled to open on Saturday and was also planned to meet with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta at the sidelines of the summit.
Over the past few days, there have been efforts spearheaded by Turkey and Qatar to host a meeting between Kenyan and Somali leaders after the countries had earlier agreed to restore ties, though row over Indian Ocean maritime border still seems to be raging.
Farmajo has taken the decision due to ongoing plans for his reelection as Somalia heads to the polls within 60 days after the country’s leaders reached a deal on May 27 to end months-long stalemate, Caasimada Online website reported, quoting senior officials as saying that a political earthquake sparked by UN report indicating presence of Somali troops in Ethiopia’s Tigray and recruits subjected to slavery conditions in Eritrean training camps are also among key reasons behind the cancellation of the outgoing president’s trip.
Growing reports of soldiers deployed in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and Somali recruits “enslaved” after being taken to Eritrea for military training are likely to tarnish Farmajo’s image amid his reelection bid, local political analysts say.
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