Crucial conference afoot as leaders head to Garowe

The much-anticipated conference bringing together Federal and State leaders kicks off in Garowe today amid expectations it could herald a new chapter of relations between the two levels of government.

Prime Minister Hassan Khaire and heads of Jubbaland, South West, HirShabelle and the host Puntland’s Sai’d Deni are already in Garowe. Only President Mohamed Farmaajo and Galmudug president Ahmed Haaf are expected to land there today.

The meeting which will be the first of the leaders from both levels of government in close to a year is expected to address a range of issues notably the settlement of political questions which have made it almost mission impossible for the levels of government to agree on anything substantial.

These questions include allegations of interference of state governments by the federal government, resources sharing, implementation of the National Security Architecture and the security Transition Plan.

The choice of the electoral formula for 2020 elections is also likely to resurface despite reported agreements in the Baidoa meeting last June. Cabinet approved the Elections Bill Thursday but immediately Jubbaland dismissed it saying it was never consulted.

Jubbaland too rejected the Petroleum Amendment Bill signalling another round of debate in the Garowe conference. Somalia is expecting to conclude the process of licensing oil firms and issuance of oil blocks by January 2020 despite the absence of key legal frameworks and agreements between the two levels of government.

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