Galmadug president arrives in Mogadishu for a working trip
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Ahmed Abdi Kariye alias Qoorqoor, the president of Galmadug, arrived in Mogadishu on Monday, the Somalia capital, in what he described as a "working trip", which comes almost six months after his controversial victory that saw lead candidates drop out of the race.
At Aden Adde International Airport, Kariye, who is a former federal government minister, was ushered in by top government officials and local community leaders, who lined up to receive the Galmadug leader, a close ally of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
This was his first trip to the capital since February and details about his mission remain scanty. Usually, it's rare to find regional leaders visiting Mogadishu due to strained relationship with Farmajo, who is persistently accused of being an impedance to national cohesion and integration.
"I arrived in Mogadishu today, the Somalia capital on a working visit. I'd like to thank all officials and sections of the community in the capital for their hospitality," he said in a Twitter post, while calling for peace and stability in Somalia.
Coincidentally, his trip comes just two days after the ouster of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who was bundled out by legislators during a stormy parliamentary session on Saturday. The former PM was accused of among others, failing to give a proper roadmap for realisation of one-person-one-vote elections.
Khaire's removal came after the end of the first phase of negotiations between the federal government and member states which were organised by Galmadug. Infact, he received news about his removal while at Dhusamareb, the regional administrative capital of Galmadug.
While it's not officially clear if Kariye's trip is related to Khaire's ouster, multiple sources have hinted to Garowe Online that he could be "seeking the PM post" or probably "lobbying" for a close confidant to take it. The former minister still wields a lot of influence within Mogadishu's club of power brokers.
In a statement, Villa Somalia noted that a new Prime Minister will be nominated in the next one month by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. The new leader will be vetted by Parliament before getting a node to serve for the remaining five months, after which he would lead the country to fresh elections.
But in meantime, Villa Somalia said, Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid would hold the post on a temporary basis. The DPM has already assumed the seat, and on Monday, he warned Somalia's international partners from interfering with the country's internal politics.
"The Cabinet meeting also highlighted the SFG's gratitude to the international community but stressed the need for our partners to respect the sovereignty of our nation and our constitution as well as the UN Diplomatic Convention. FGS is committed to Somalia's progress," he said.
The removal of Khaire backlashed in the eyes of international community which accused Villa Somalia of sponsoring the ouster with an aim of sabotaging ongoing negotiations between FGS and FMS. The US and the European Union termed the removal "unjust".
Should Kariye lobby for the Prime Minister post, he would be the man on the center stage as the country tries to mediate stakeholders to avoid a possible pre-election conflict. The country is divided on the model and date for elections, with the term of the current administration set to expire in November.