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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
UN Special Envoy to Somalia meets TFG leaders in Mogadishu over PM rift

Augustine Mahiga, the United Nations' Special Envoy for Somalia who was accompanied by members of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), met with Somali leaders Wednesday at Mogadishu'S Adan Adde International Airport, Radio Garowe reports.

Mahiga held meetings at the airport with TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the TFG Parliament Speaker, Mr. Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who have been at loggerheads in recent days over delays to approving the new PM, Somali-American Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo).

TFG Parliament dispute over approving Farmajo as new PM
Abdi-Rasheed Khaliif Hashi, director of information affairs of Villa Somalia presidential palace stressed: "The special envoy landed with information from international community that says, the TFG should close-down the rift and work united in order to defeat the insurgent groups."

The TFG just came out of a months-long political feud between President Sharif and his former PM Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, who resigned in September. Meanwhile, insurgents continue to hold control over large areas of south-central Somalia including many districts in Mogadishu, where they routinely attack government and allied AMISOM troops.

UN Envoy Mahiga urged the parliamentarians to act what Supreme Court in Somalia ruled, that the vote should be conducted by hand-raising as has been the case in previous confirmation votes in the parliament since 1960, according to the TFG Supreme Court which has been inactive for years.

"International donors are ready to help the TFG...But I am urging to the Somali leaders to solve the crisis and approve the new premier as soon as possible," Mahiga said, according to the Khalif statement.

The delegation from the UN, AU and IGAD includes the Special Envoy flew out of Somalia without speaking to the press. International delegations who visit Mogadishu often do not leave the airport due to serious concern of roadside bombings or mortar explosions at any given moment.

Meanwhile, the TFG parliament postponed its Wednesday meeting because TFG lawmakers are still arguing about whether the new PM should be given vote of confidence by secret ballot or by hand-raising, which is supported by President Sharif and the Supreme Court while Speaker Sharif Hassan supports secret ballot vote.

"The new premier will begin his duties after the approval," said Sharif in a statement released from his office.

Since the TFG formation in 2004, Mr. Farmajo will be the fourth Prime Minister if confirmed by the TFG parliament. However, his confirmation process has been the most difficult so far of any Somali PM in recent years.


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