Somali president calls for unity with regional leaders

President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has stated the federal government's commitment to cooperation with the leaders of the semi-autonomous states.

He was reacting to a Wednesday statement by the presidents of Jubaland, Puntland, Southwest, Galmududg and Hirshabelle criticising the federal government for sidelining them on national issues.

“I have been keenly following the concerns of the leaders of the federal member states, and in effect underscore the need for closer cooperation between the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to achieve the hope of peace and prosperity for our country,” President Farmajo stated.

Full recovery

“I want to remind you all that we must acknowledge that our country is on the path of recovery, and the only way we can achieve full recovery is through cooperation. We must therefore all strive for the greater good of this country and be true to the oath that we all took to put the country first.”

For three days, the President of Jubaland Ahmed Mohamed Islam alias Ahmed Madobe, hosted his fellow regional leaders, Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas of Puntland, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan of Southwest, Mohamed Abdi Waare of Hirshabelle and Ahmed Dualeh Ghelle Haaf of Galmududg in Kismayu.

The five leaders later issued a joint statement.

The constitution

Last month, the presidents of Puntland, Southwest and Galmudug visited the United Arab Emirates, in support of the Saudi Arabia-led Gulf coalition against Qatar.

The gesture appeared to undermine the neutral position adopted by the federal government towards the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

President Farmajo reiterated that he remained confident that all concerns would be resolved, and that all the leaders would remain true to the pledge of putting the interest of the country first.

“In a nascent federal system, there would be challenges and those must always be resolved amicably through dialogue, while remaining faithful to the constitution,” he said.

The regional leaders announced the formation of a forum to unite them, prompting many people to suspect that it could mean a ‘state within a state,’ posing a challenge to the role of the central government of President Farmajo.

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