Somalia’s PM Arrives in Puntland for Talks over Upcoming Elections

GAROWE (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, leading a high-profile federal government delegation has arrived in Garowe, the capital of the country’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Friday, days after promising to travel to the region amid heating up dispute over upcoming elections.

The Prime Minister and his delegation were warmly welcomed at Garowe airport by regional president, his vice president and other officials.

Shortly after his visit, initial talks between the Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and regional President Saeed Deni were held.

Regional officials said the Prime Minister’s visit came at a crucial time as differences over upcoming elections risk destabilizing the war-torn nation, despite international calls for easing tensions.

Hours before the Prime Minister’s visit, regional troops removed his posters on Garowe streets, but Puntland authorities have not immediately commented on the move.

There were reports that efforts by Puntland leader had stalled to mediate talks between the federal government, Jubaland President and opposition figures, after Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declined his offer during a phone call earlier this week.

Somali Prime Minister’s visit comes days after opposition established a parallel electoral body and threatened to form its own government, if the current administration fails to hold elections before its term expires.

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