UN, AU step in as political tensions escalate in Somalia

Relations between federal states and Mogadishu continued deteriorating in the recent weeks

UN and AU chiefs in Mogadishu have weighed in on the ongoing political crisis in the country with planned visits to the federal states amidst an escalating political row that last week saw state leaders announce the formation of a parallel army as relations with Mogadishu took a nosedive.

Senate speaker Abdi Hashi told journalists in Mogadishu today UN envoy Nicholas Haysom and head of Amisom Francisco Madeira had sought a brief from the Senate which has in the last few weeks being mediating the matter ahead of their engagement with the regional leaders.

“Today the United Nations envoy Nicholas Haysom and the African Union Mission in Somalia head Francisco Madeira told us they would like to visit the state governments and they sought our advice,” said Hashi. “We gave them our findings and briefed them on the developments.”

Senate Secretary General Ali Jama added the UN and AU leaders sought to understand from the Senate the state of affairs regarding the ongoing disputes.

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The Senate early this month dispatched teams on fact finding and engagement missions with the federal state leaders and various stakeholders in a bid to seek understanding and chart a course for resolution of the disputes with the federal government. But the Senate last week expressed frustrations over non response from the federal government despite presenting it with its recommendations.

What followed was a three days ultimatum to the federal government by the Senate upon which the government responded on the final day by appointing three ministers to spearhead the reconciliation process.

A statement from Villa Somalia today noted the President was committed to engaging with the state leaders and called for de-escalation of political tensions. However Hashi poured cold water on the statement noting it did not originate from the president himself since it was written in the third person. The document also lacked official approval of the Presidency since it bore no stamp, Hashi questioned.

Haysom started his assignment in Somalia at the beginning of this month and immediately drove into an ongoing political fall-out between the two levels of government akin to what his predecessor Michael Keating was treated to upon arrival in Mogadishu in 2016.




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