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Somalia’s international partners urge political leaders to agree on poll timeline

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The international community on Saturday called on Somali leaders to iron out outstanding issues from the previous consultative meetings and agree on the short election timeline to implement the pre-election deal in the new round of talks slated for Monday.

The partners including the African Union, EU and the UN among other countries said government and federal member state leaders due to attend the Feb. 15 summit should engage in frequent consultations with other stakeholders to inform the deliberations.

“We believe it is vital that the discussions initiated in Dhusamareb be brought quickly to a successful conclusion in this next round of dialogue,” said the partners in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

The statement comes after President Mohamed Farmajo who is seeking another second four-year term has called for a consultative meeting of heads of federal governments on Feb. 15 to help break the deadlock on the electoral process.

Both Puntland and Jubbaland have welcomed the Monday talks but proposed that they be held in Mogadishu to ensure the participation of stakeholders and the international community.

But the international partners said they do not believe that the question of the location justifies any delay to this critically important summit.

“We urge the Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders, in a constructive spirit, to resolve the small number of issues outstanding from the Dhusamareb talks and agree to a short election timeline necessary to implement the September 17 Agreement,” the partners said.

They said it is crucial that the discussions initiated in Dhusamareb be brought quickly to a successful conclusion in this next round of dialogue.

“Now is the time to avoid unilateral actions and proceed quickly to agree on the implementation of the September 17 electoral process to choose Somalia’s leaders,” said the partners.

The composition of the electoral team and sharp differences between Farmajo and Jubbaland leader Ahmed Madobe over the deployment of troops in the Gedo region are among the contentious issues.

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Politics

Puntland forces block delegation waiting to receive Planning Minister Jamal Hassan in Garowe

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Puntland security forces reportedly under instructions from State President Abdullahi Deni barred a delegation which was to received Federal Planning Minister Jamal Hassan at Garowe Airport Thursday morning.

The minister who was on his way to his constituency in Dhahar, Sanaag region arrived at the airport but without a receiving delegation after his team on the ground was blocked from accessing the airport, sources at the airport said.

After he left the airport, sources said, a confrontation arose between his security team from Dhahar and Puntland forces. The team from Dhahar had come to pick him.

The government forces had reportedly attempted to bar him from leaving for Dhahar but he finally managed to leave.

Jamal, a close ally of President Mohamed Farmaajo does not see eye to eye with Deni whom sources said has attempted to derail his re-election.

Jamal will be seeking to be re-elected by his sub-clan in Dhahar in the upcoming Lower House elections.

Source: Hiiraan and Agencies

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Farmajo names committee of inquiry to investigate disappearance of former spy Ikran Tahlil

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Somali president Mohamed Farmajo has appointing a five-member committee to investigate the disappearance of former spy agent Ikran Tahlil.

“I hereby appoint a five-Member Commission of inquiry Chaired by the Attorney-General and deputized by Head of Military Court to expedite investigations on the case of IKRAN TAHLIL and to hand over the findings and evidence to responsible legal institutions for the execution of Justice.”

In the presidential decree, Farmajo appointed the Attorney-General to lead the fact-finding mission. The Armed Forces Court Attorney General is also a member of the committee. The three committee members will be nominated later by the Somali Police Force Commander, the Commander of the Somali National Army and Col. Yasin Abdulahi Mohamud, his new appointee Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Agency.

The statement added that Ikran’s case was a “sensitive one that needs a thorough investigation.”

Farmajo instructed the commission to submit its investigative reports to the relevant authorities, although there will undoubtedly be demands to make the findings of any report public. There will also likely be apprehension to Somalia’s intelligence agency being a part of the investigation. Many lawmakers have called on an independent inquiry into Ikran’s murder.

Farmajo declared that the decree came into effect immediately after he signed it.

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Qorqor and Laftagareen try to bring Farmajo and Roble together

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The presidents of Galmudug, Ahmed Abdi Karie Qoor Qoor his South West State counterpart and Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed Laftagareen have taken the role of mediators to find a solution the wrangle between President Mohamed Farmajo and his Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.

The two  met with Farmajo and Roble separately, and urged both parties to refrain from further action that would escalate the tense situation.

Reports indicate that the president and the prime minister have accepted the mediation, although each has developed conditions attached to the talks.

Prime Minister Roble insisted that Commander Bashir Goobe was the commander of NISA, and President Farmajo emphasized that the steps taken by the Prime Minister were invalid.

The meeting is expected to continue on Friday. The two presidents are hopeful that the two top officials will finally be reconciled so that their differences do not affect the election process.

The intervention comes amidst heightened political tensions between Farmajo and Roble which could threaten the fragile security of the Horn of Africa nation.

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