Outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo is today meeting with his arch political rivals Ahmed Madobe (Jubbaland)and Abdullahi Deni (Puntland) for the first time in several weeks following pressure from the international community.
Though Information Minister Osman Dubbe described it as an ‘icebreaker’ meeting convened by Farmaajo, sources privy to the talks authoritatively confirm that the international community upped the tempo against the three leaders to vacate their grandstanding.
The meeting comes barely a day after Madobe and Deni issued another condemnation against Farmaajo for ‘frustrating’ the talks and pulling the breaks on any efforts to resolve the stalemate.
The three leaders last met in February during the third round of talks in Dhusamareb which ended in disarray. The Federal Member State leaders and opposition presidential candidates accused Farmaajo of ‘walking out’ of the talks.
Efforts to bring Farmaajo and the FMS leaders have yielded minimal results in recent weeks forcing the regional leaders to pitch camp at Halane area for close to a month now.
The C6+ group bringing together the UK, UN, U.S, EU and African Union through AMISOM last week met with all the FMS leaders and pressed them to set aside their differences and give room for dialogue.
The UN Security Council also demanded the country’s leadership resolve their disputes and pave way for elections.
The two sides had differed over the form and agenda of the new talks scheduled to take place at the airforce hangar in Afisyoni. While the Villa Somalia faction pushed for the endorsement of the Baidoa Framework and implementation of the September 17 Agreement, the Madobe and Deni backed by the opposition alliance NSF want the expansion of the talks to include the opposition and additional relook at the September deal to include security of the elections.
The opposition also wants discussions on the legitimacy of federal institutions-presidency and parliament whose term expired in February and December respectively.
Today’s meeting at Afisyoni is expected to pave way for the grand talks incorporating the rest of the FMS leaders.