The President of Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland, Said Abdullahi Deni has invited the country’s federal and regional leaders to convene for a national consultative conference in Garowe, the capital of Puntland next month.
In a press conference in Garowe on Sunday, president Deni said he has called President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire as well as the leaders of Jubbaland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle and South West State to gather May 2 in Garowe.
In September last year, five regional states suspended their ties with the Federal Government alleging Mogadishu not willing to hand over more power to the states in a nation where clan loyalties determine political support.
The Puntland leader said that the goal of the conference was to resolve the grievances of the member states toward the federal government ahead of the 2021 election.
“I hope that this conference will become the hope of the Somali people. It is a conference which the international also hopes to see it,” he said “We hope to end the conference before Ramadan starts.”
“There are complaints from Puntland, Galmudug and other federal member states toward the federal power and resource sharing, but we decided to resolve those issues through consultation conference and that consultation conference to take place in Garowe,” he added while rejecting the appointment of the new Central Bank governor earlier this month.
Mr Deni has categorically suggested a change of approach of the current National Security Council, a national forum comprising of the top federal leaders and presidents of regional states.
“It is clear that we need to re-define the way we used to approach on our cooperation; something different from the National Security Council which seems to have missed its goal,” he noted.
Puntland is fighting al-Shabaab and Islamic State militants while other regions are facing al-Shabaab but the Puntland leader sees there were clear process of collaboration between the states and the Mogadishu-based central government which it self struggles to fend off al-Shabaab attacks from the capital.
The call for the consultative conference in Garowe comes amid failures of two previous conferences in Mogadishu under the host of president Farmajo. Sources said the federal member states have declined those two conferences as one of them was due on April 19th.
Both President Farmajo and Prime Minister Khaire did not comment on the new call consultation conference in Garowe by Puntland leader.