Inside Farmajo's schedule ahead of critical talks with FMS leaders
MOGADISHU, Somalia - President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo started his historical trip to Dhusamareb, the regional administrative capital of Galmadug in a positive note, and spent the better part of Sunday meeting with several leaders before the actual dialogue meeting with regional leaders.
Farmajo arrived in Galmadug on Saturday where he was given a "fantastic" reception with regional leaders who are spending the second week in Dhusamareb for pre-election negotiations which are due to kick off on Monday.
Abdinur Mohamed, the Villa Somalia Director of Communications, said Farmajo met with "some regional leaders" on Sunday before the start of the much-anticipated dialogue. Although he did not mention the names, Garowe Online had established a reconciliation meeting between the president and Jubaland leader Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe.
The two have not been seeing each other eye to eye for several years following disputed Jubaland elections that were held in 2019 where Madobe was declared the winner. It's not clear if the two settled their differences but there are indications that they agreed to embrace "ceasefire".
On Sunday, Abdinur added, Farmajo also met prominent local and community leaders and elders where they discussed the much-needed unity in Somalia. He also met the civil society members where human rights were discussed in broad.
"On the 1st full day of his stay in Dhusamareb since arriving on Saturday, H.E President Mohamed Farmaajo spent his time in a series of meetings with some of FMS leaders, prominent community elders and Civil Society groups ahead of the start of FGS-FMS consultative forum in Dhusamareb," he said.
Sources privy to the closed-door meeting with civil society indicated that Farmajo asked the team to support universal suffrage polls in Somalia. However, the team ruled our political engagement arguing that "it's not for the interest of our groups to discuss the model for elections".
Farmajo is routing for one-person-one-vote elections just like the international community but regional leaders and the opposition have dismissed it as a recipe for unconstitutional term extensions. It's this standoff that has necessitated the meeting with the local leaders.
Last week, the regional leaders led by Said Abdullahi Deni, Ahmed Madobe, Ahmed Kariye, and Abdi Waare ruled out the possibility of having a universal suffrage poll later on this year, citing time constraints as the major reason behind their decision. The team wants elections to be held within the stipulated time.
It is the model and date for elections that will feature in this week's dialogue that is being backed by the international community. The leaders will also agree on the representations for Somaliland and Banadir besides settling on a 30 percent quota for women representation.
On his Twitter, Abdinur exuded confidence that entire Somalia stands with President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his vision to take the country to the next level. He posted a video of Farmajo's past trip to Dhusamareb.
"The genuine love from the people of Galmudug for Farmaajo has proven time and again that when you bring peace and prosperity, you earn a place in the hearts and minds of the people. The time now for Dhuusamareeb to safeguard our future generations, not just the next elections," he said.