The president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, has convened a new meeting this Thursday with the leaders of the regions of the country to address the serious political crisis in which the country is plunged after the end of his mandate on February 8 without elections.
The presidency’s communications director, Abdirashid Hashi, highlighted through his Twitter social network account that the leader, known as ‘Farmajo’, “will host a one-day leadership summit” with regional leaders on Thursday.
“The forum marks the climax of efforts towards the implementation of electoral agreements and recommendations,” he said, following the failure of three previous calls by the president to hold such a meeting and achieve a solution to the crisis.
If it goes ahead, it will be the sixth of talks between ‘Farmajo’ and regional leaders, amid efforts led by Prime Minister Mohamed Husein Roble to bring the parties closer together. The opposition is demanding that the president step aside, given that his term of office has already ended.
During Monday’s meeting between Roble and the opposition, it was agreed to investigate the crackdown on recent protests in the capital Mogadishu and a date was agreed for a new opposition march to be held with security deployed to ensure there are no incidents.
The Somali government and opposition have agreed to investigate the clashes between opposition and security forces that left ten dead in Mogadishu and have agreed on a date for a new opposition march to be held next Saturday with state security.
According to information gathered by the Somali news portal Goobjoog News, the meeting will take place in the Halane area, which hosts several UN buildings and diplomatic legations.
In this regard, the U.S. Embassy in Somalia has warned that “time is running out” and called on the parties to “meet now, do the right thing for the people of Somalia and complete these elections.”
Also, the UN office in Somalia has issued a joint statement from the international community applauding the continuation of talks between Roble and the Presidential Candidates Council (PCC), which brings together more than a dozen candidates, including two former presidents and a former prime minister.
“Following the successful meeting on February 25, the partners call on the Prime Minister and the CPC to make further progress,” they said, before calling on them to “hold the summit planned over the next few days to confirm plans to implement the September 17 agreement” so that “the electoral process can get underway without further delays.”
The communiqué was signed by the United Nations Mission, the European Union (EU), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States and Djibouti.
The opposition candidates announced on February 8 that they would no longer recognize ‘Farmajo’ due to the end of his mandate, while they also called for the creation of a body in charge of the preparation of the next elections. The Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Mursal, has ruled out an extension of the President’s mandate.
The controversy was sparked by the opposition’s rejection of the work of the body set up by the September 17 agreement to organize the elections because of its composition, which they consider to be made up of political appointees, intelligence agents and “friends” of the president.
On the other hand, Somali security forces have killed ten suspected members of the Al Shabaab terrorist group in an operation carried out by special forces in the town of Gambale, in the state of Hirshabelle (center), as reported by the Somali news agency SONNA.
Somalia is facing an increase in the number of attacks by the Islamist militia Al Shabaab – linked to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda – both in the capital and in other areas in the south of the country. In response, the United States has increased its bombing raids against the group.