By T. Roble
GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: The much-awaited fresh talks between the Federal and State leaders have failed to kick off after leaders from both sides failed to agree on the venue in what is now becoming the norm as the country further plunges into uncertainty over the fate of the elections.
Outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo announced early this month the fresh talks will take place in Garowe from today after the fifth round of talks in Dhusamareb yielded no deal but instead widened the rift between the two levels of government.
But Ahmed Madobe (Jubbaland) and his Puntland counterpart rejected the idea of holding the talks in Garowe though they welcomed the resumption. The two political allies who have for the longest become a thorn in the flesh for Farmaajo insisted the talks be held in Mogadishu opening another round of tiff with the outgoing leader.
The two leaders and the opposition have also insisted that Farmaajo participates in the talks as a presidential candidate since his stay in office has already elapsed.
The international community, however, chided the Somali leaders noting debates over venues was a non-issue. “International partners do not believe that the question of the location justifies any delay to this critically important summit,” a joint statement released by the UN read in part.
Haggling over the location of talks adds to a wide range of issues Farmaajo and his political enemies have differed on dragging the country along their endless pandemonium.
UPD party leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who is also a presidential candidate said Sunday there was a need for inclusion of presidential candidates in the talks to break the deadlock.
“My view is that the same participants of yesterday’s talks who had failed to bring resolutions for the contentious issues cannot bring solutions by themselves,” said Mohamud.
“Consequently, we proposed the expansion of the participation by including representatives from the presidential candidates.”