Somalia’s opposition form new alliance

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Jubaland leader together with Puntland regional leader officially joined forces with 15 member opposition group Thursday to form a powerful alliance that could be an adversary to the outgoing Somalia’s president, Mohmed Abdilahi Farmajo.

There is a report that Galmudug’s Ahmed Qoorqoor could switch sides further isolating the beleaguered leader.

The alliance dubbed the National Salvation Council (NSC), which comprises of the two regional leaders, the 15 member Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) and the leadership of the pro-union Somaliland group announced Thursday they will be working on delivering elections after several rounds of talks with Farmaajo hit a brick wall.

NSC said it was forced to take action after Farmaajo frustrated talks for an electoral deal accusing him of bolting out of the Dhusamareb IV round as the ‘talks progressed’.

“The leaders have been meeting for some time to reach a consensus on how to hold free and fair elections in the country, [but] it is clear that the outgoing President, Mr. Moamned Abdullahi Farmajo, is a hindrance,” the Council said.

PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS

“It is unlikely that the country will be able to hold free and fair elections.” The Council which met at Airport Hotel within the precincts of the UN compound in Mogadishu also raised earlier accusations against Farmaajo citing the attack by security forces on a hotel hosting former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Hassan on February 19 which the CPC said was an assassination attempt.

The new alliance also accused Farmaajo of failing to convene another round of talks and using security forces to block opposition protests.

The Council said it would now proceed to ‘work for a peaceful and mutually acceptable election’ but did not indicate the modalities for achieving this goal. Also, the NSC will work on ensuring peace and stability and fight against any attempts which could destabilise the country. The CPC had made a similar call last month calling for Farmaajo’s resignation and handover of power to a Transitional National Council.

The NSC did not however make any demands on Farmaajo.

The Farmaajo faction has stood ground against revising the composition of the talks and might now be forced to choose between accepting the new structure or stick to its position. Either way, the road to an electoral deal in Somalia is getting bumpier.

As the NSC was meeting at Airport Hotel, across the expansive Halane compound, the joint elections committee which concluded its work last month was summoned at Decale Hotel within Aden Adde Airport by the Federal Government. Representatives of Farmaajo’s allies-HirShabelle, Galmudug, South West and Banaadir attended as Jubbaland and Puntland gave it a wide berth.

The NSC is chaired by Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi who is also the chairman of the Somaliland pro-union team. Other key leaders ar Deni, Madobe and former president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed who is currently the chairman of the CPC.

IMPLICATIONS

The coming together of the Deni-Madobe faction and the CPC could now pose adverse challenges to prospects for any meaningful talks with Farmaajo. Deni and Madobe who have insisted on the presence of CPC in the talks now have a stronger push since they might likely vacate their attendance to the talks as a Federal Member State only but now under the NSC umbrella.

The Farmaajo faction has stood ground against revising the composition of the talks and might now be forced to choose between accepting the new structure or stick to its position. Either way, the road to an electoral deal in Somalia is getting bumpier.

Sources have also told Goobjoog News Galmudug president Ahmed Qoorqoor is contemplating joining forces with the opposition. This comes following a meeting with the CPC members this week in Mogadishu. A source said the former minister was implored by the CPC against ‘blind loyalty to Farmaajo and was urged to resume hi mediator role.

Should Qoorwoor switch sides, Farmaajo will be left with two lightweight FMS leaders- HirShabelle’s Ali Guudlaawe and South West’s Abdiaziz Lafta Gareen in addition to Banaadir Regional Administration governor Omar Filish.

The sixth round of talks has been hit by delays despite all the FMS leaders arriving in Mogadishu. Sources however indicate the talks might resume on Sunday. UN head in Somalia James Swan told VOA Somali yesterday he was banking on the country’s leadership to secure a compromise deal.

“We hope these political leaders along with others will get down to business and talk seriously about the future of the country,” Swan said.

 

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