Somali leaders converge for electoral talks as international community demands way forward


MOGADISHU (HOL) – The much awaited meeting between President Mohamed Farmaajo and Federal Member State leaders has kicked off in Mogadishu this morning raising expectations of an electoral deal.

The leaders arrived at the air force hangar in Afiysoni area about 10am after several weeks of push and pull.

Information Minister Osman Dubbe called the meeting an ‘icebreaker’ convened by Farmaajo.
The international community has however pilled pressure on the leaders as the ongoing gridlock plunges the country into uncertainty.

The meeting was expected to start early last month under the auspices of the international community but failed to owing to thelack of agreement on the agenda of the meeting.

The UN Security Council this week called for ‘urgent’ elections as western envoys and the African Union heightened pressure on the federal and state leaders.

It was not immediately clear if the two sides-Farmaajo faction and the Jubbaland-Puntland camp had settled the contentious issues which included the inclusion of the opposition, legitimacy of the presidency and parliament owing to term lapse among others.

The debate and endorsement of the Baidoa Framework which provides an implementation plan for the September Agreement is expected to feature prominently during the meeting.

Both Jubbaland and Puntland have demanded the September deal be relooked by the international community and federal government have stood ground against further debate on the deal.