Somalia: Senator Farole, Keating discuss current situation in Somalia
GAROWE, Puntland - The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating paid a courtesy call on former Puntland President, Abdirahman Mohamud Farole at his residence in Garowe on Saturday, May 12, Garowe Online reports.
Farole who is currently a Somali Senator and Keating discussed on a range of key issues, including the soaring relations between Somali Government and the Federal States, Security and the brewing tension in Tukaraq and Puntland elections in 2019.
The Senator shared his extensive experience and knowledge of Somalia politics with the visiting UN envoy during their meeting which has particularly focused on ways who to deal with the current situation in the Horn of Africa country.
Keating and Farole also discussed the Gulf crisis pitting Arab powers which spilled over into Somalia, whose position of neutrality has not gone down well at home or with its allies.
"I held talks with the UN special representative for Somalia and the head of UNSOM, Michael Keating who paid a courtesy call on me at my house in Garowe," said Farole while speaking to the media following the meeting.
Keating has expressed concern over the escalating tension in the northern Sool region which renewed after the breakaway Somaliland troops wrested control of the strategic city of Tukaraq during an offensive against Puntland forces last January.
Additionally, Farole said the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia [UNSOM] was very concerned that Somalia slips back into civil war as the country on the path to the recovery.
"The UN envoy is extremely worried about a possible renewal of conflict in Somalia. He arrived today in Garowe and will be departing for Hargeisa Sunday," said Farole, adding that he gave his own advice to the envoy to help solve the existing crisis.
The prominent Senator who served as Puntland president between 2009 and 2014 has called for a genuine reconciliation in the country and bring an end to the standoff between the UN-backed Somali Government and the Federal Member States.
Keating arrived in Garowe on Saturday and met with Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali "Gaas" at the Presidential Palace before his departure for Somaliland, where he will meet with President Muse Bihi Abdi over the situation in Sool region.
His visit is aimed at mediating the looming fight between Puntland and Somaliland in the disputed Takaraq area in Sool region, about 90 kilometers from Garowe as both sides have been amassing troops ready for combat since its capture early this year.