Talks between the Federal Government and Federal Member States in Garowe have officially collapsed, Goobjoog News can authoritatively report.
Multiple sources in the Garowe meeting have told Goobjoog News leaders from both levels of government failed to agree on substantial components of the talks throwing off balance what was to become a turning point for the two yearlong tumultuous relationship.
Jubbaland president Ahmed Madobe left Saturday morning followed by his Galmudug counterpart Ahmed Haaf by mid-morning as the rest including Prime Minister Hassan Khaire left the Puntland capital.
Sources privy to the talks said the crux of the meeting lay in the Galmudug question which became central to the weeklong talks. Whereas Galmudug maintained the term of the current administration is still alive for the next three years, the Federal Government argued for a minimum one year extension seemingly vacating its earlier position that elections be held in time (July 2019) as provided for by the founding Constitution.
Haaf’s argument lay in the post Djibouti Pact Constitution which gave a whole new meaning to the life of the current administration. According to article 83 (11) of the new Constitution approved in March 2018, the life of the unity government bringing together Galmudug state and the Alhusuna Wal Jamaa faction started afresh March 26, 2018 for a period of 4 years.
The new constitution was product of IGAD led talks in Nairobi, Djibouti and Mogadishu. Alhusuna head Sheikh Shakir was made chief minister of the new government.
Galmudug parliament is currently made up of two factions; one based in Dhusamareb allied to Haaf and Shakir while the other one is based in Adado chaired by speaker Ali Asir.
The Garowe meeting was supposed to address a wide range of issues. They included the elections formula for the 2020 elections, resources sharing particularly the Petroleum Bill, security and relations between the two levels of government.
By Friday night, it was clear the talks had faltered as Haaf issued a scathing attack at President Farmaajo administration accusing it of manipulating the agenda of the meeting, disrespecting Galmudug and Jubbaland administrations.
“It is clear that the Federal Government is not ready and does not want any cooperation between the Federal Member States (FMS) to resolve these problems,” Haaf said
Political interests stood on the way of the talks. FGS which has pursued a policy of ‘forceful change’ in the FMS as witnessed in South West last December wants elections be held as soon as possible in Galmudug to allow it install its own man ahead of the crucial 2020 elections which will largely be played out in the regions.
The Haaf-Shakir faction, on the other hand, is keen on locking out the Federal Government from Galmudug and a four year extension is a safe bet.
The collapse of the talks leaves a lot of issues unaddressed amid an upcoming election in the next one and half years. A lot more also is the deepened mistrust between the two levels of government.