Somalia – Mogadishu: Senior representatives of the Somali states of Jubaland and Puntland, key players in the very serious political crisis in the country, have expressed serious doubts about the possibility of concluding negotiations with the president, Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ given the atmosphere of extreme violence in the capital, Mogadishu.
Jubaland Vice President Mohamed Siyad acknowledged Saturday that it will be very difficult for the state to attend the pending talks to resolve the crisis, given the current situation in the city, where at least four people have died, according to the opposition, in clashes with the police.
“We have always been willing to attend the talks, but the circumstances and the atmosphere in Mogadishu now are not conducive. We will look at the evolving situation,” he said in statements reported by Goobjoog.
Puntland issued a similar statement on Friday, but Somali news portal sources indicate that the state is willing to provide “ample room” for talks organized by the Somali president as he battles the opposition, which has exerted relentless pressure on his stay in office.
In fact, the opposition, agglutinated in the so-called Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) has maintained that it will continue with demonstrations “until Farmaajo withdraws”.
The protests were called in the midst of the deep political crisis in the country after the expiration of the president’s mandate on February 8 without the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections, which should have started in December.
In view of this situation, the United Nations and the African Union (AU) demanded on Wednesday the resumption of the dialogue, after the postponement of a meeting to try to agree on the organization of elections, after which ‘Farmajo’ convened a meeting that was to take place between Thursday and Friday, which, however, did not take place.
The opposition candidates for the Somali presidency announced on February 8 that they would no longer recognize the current president due to the end of his mandate, while at the same time they opted for the creation of a body in charge of preparing the next elections. The President of Parliament, Mohamed Mursal, has ruled out an extension of Farmajo’s mandate.
The controversy erupted because of the opposition’s rejection of the work of the body set up to organize the elections due to its composition, understanding that it is made up of political appointees, intelligence agents and “friends” of the president, a reason which led them to announce their intention to create a parallel “national electoral salvation commission”.