Somalia President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, has cancelled his planned trip to New York this week as the Horn of Africa nation faces political crisis pitting the central government and regional states, a diplomat said.

Somalia Foreign minister Ahmed Isse Awad who arrived New York a few hours ago will deliver Somali president’s speech at UN General Assembly

The president was scheduled to fly to New York on Sunday to attend the annual UN General Assembly which is set to open next week. However, Mr. Farmajo has pulled out of the high-level UN meeting to help end a growing political crisis in Galmudug where opposing parliamentary factions have ousted the region’s top leaders in controversial moves, Abukar Osman, the Somalia ambassador to UN told in an interview this morning.

However, sources close to the president told say that fears of protests against his administration’s performance already planned to greet him upon his arrival in the United States was the main concern that prompted him to cancel the trip.

Meanwhile, the ensuing political crisis in Galmudug State which the organizers of the planned protests in the US blamed for the government of having instigated is also reported to be one of the key reasons that prompted the president to cancel his planned trip.

According to the sources, Mr. Farmajo was also scheduled to make separate trips to Minneapolis to meet Somali communities from across the US.

US-based Somali activists have reportedly begun planning large protests against Mr. Farmajo’s administration which faces mounting criticism against its policies and security handling since his election on early 2017 amid an increase in new attacks and assassinations across the capital, Mogadishu in recent weeks.

During his visit to the US, Somali president would also have to attend his daughter’s wedding in Buffalo, NY next week. The cancellation of Mr. Farmajo’s trip to the US comes at a critical time for his government amid pressure by the country’s regional states that severed ties with the Mogadishu-based government, accusing it failing to deliver on its promises and lacking a mechanism for sharing resources between the regional states and the government.

Despite the president’s calls for the regional leaders to convene for consultative meetings in Mogadishu to resolve the crisis, there were no indications of willingness by the five Somali regional states accepting his offer for talks to date.