Fresh face-to-face talks aimed at ending the political standoff between Jubbaland state and the Federal Government of Somalia held in Kenya’s capital Nairobi in the past few days, Garowe Online reports.
Sources revealed to GO that the acting Somali spy chief, Fahad Yasin participated in the mediation as he is paving the way for a visit by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to the southern port city of Kismayo, the seat of Jubbaland.
Yasin, a former Chief of Staff at Villa Somalia who is currently serving as the deputy boss of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency [NISA] is playing a significant role in the efforts to find a solution to the deadlock.
Delegates from both sides appeared at the negotiating table weeks after president Farmajo and leaders of the five Federal States in the country agreed to put aside their political differences during a meeting in Garowe last month.
After his inauguration, Puntland president, Said Abdullahi Deni announced in January that his state will host reconciliation meeting for Somalia’s central government and the regional leaders at the request of Farmajo.
The upcoming Garowe meeting which will convene on mid Match will focus on the unity of Somalia and the deepening political crisis in the Horn of Africa country beset by decades of bloody conflict, piracy, and terrorism.
Relations between sourced in 2018 when the States resolved to suspend cooperation with Villa Somalia, accusing it of interfering with regional issues, failure to implement security architecture and not fulfilling political agreements.
Since then, Mogadishu has come out with a new strategy to divide the Council of Inter-State Cooperation (CIC) and put pressure on the president of Jubbaland, Ahmed Madobe and was seeking to oust him in the this year’s election.
The steps taken by Villa Somalia include; inciting conflict among the clans who belong to Jubbaland, and handpicking a certain candidate to compete with the incumbent president in the next presidential election.
In addition, Somali Federal Government has worked tirelessly to sever ties between President Ahmed Madobe and his long ally, Kenya which helped him capture the southern port city of Kismayo from Al-Shabaab in 2012.
However, all efforts appeared to be in vain following pressure from Somalia’s International partners who forced the Mogadishu-based Government to opt for talks with its Federal Member States instead of political war.
Madobe said to be enjoying massive support in Jubaland and is likely to increase his support base and re-election bid with his latest push to recapture Al-Shabaab held territories in Jubaland.
Villa Somalia was blamed for interfering in Southwest State election last December by backing former Energy Minister with public funds and national army soldiers who shot dead 15 civilians in Baidoa city head of the vote.
The Government has expelled UN envoy, Nickolas Haysom last month after raising questions over the shooting of the unarmed civilians and the legal bases of the arrest one of the leading presidential candidates, Mukhtar Robow.
Analysts say the resolutions are the latest political setback by the central government which is trying to partner with the international community to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.