Somali President, Prime Minister tour federal states
Saturday August 27 2022
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Barre have left the capital Mogadishu for separate tours of the federal states, each with a different agenda.
This week, President Mohamud departed for Garowe town, the capital of Puntland State, some 1000 km northeast of Mogadishu, where he was received by Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni. The meeting did not have good optics, according to political analysts who think the trip was meant to appease Deni, a man who was rumoured to be seeking the PM’s post for himself or allies.
Instead, Mohamud named Barre from the southern region of Jubbaland state.
Local commentators said Mohamud and Deni were allies during the election campaign to defeat Former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. But, the two seem to have split when Mohamud after did not appoint Deni as his prime minister or someone who hails from Puntland.
As a result, it is believed that Deni could give Mohamud tough conditions like offering Puntland greater portions of Somalia’s development projects.
Kulmiye Redio, an independent broadcaster in Mogadishu, commented, “President Said Abdullahi Deni will pose hard-hitting conditions to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud during the visit.”
“Deni will demand having a bigger slice of the national development projects and Puntland to exercise its projects with greater independence.”
Meanwhile, Barre on Thursday jetted off to Beledweyne town, the capital of Hiran region, 335 km north of Mogadishu, in Hirshabelle State. Mohamud is a native of Hirshabelle.
According to a dispatch released by Mr Farhan Mohamed Jumale, the government spokesman, the trip was aimed at helping PM Barre to study the situation of the armed forces and the local militia battling the fighters of the jihadist group Al-Shabaab.
“Prime Hamza Abdi Barre will closely observe the circumstances of people affected by devastating effects of a drought currently affecting many parts of the Horn of Africa, including Somalia,” Jumale said.
As soon as Barre landed in Beledweyne on Thursday, he visited an army unit at Lamagalaay camp, where he addressed cadets, urging the soldiers to get ready to fight Al-Shabaab.
Standing alongside his host, Hirshabelle State President Ali Hussein Gudlawe, PM Barre told the cadets, “I have come here to show my sympathy and offer solidarity to the courageous soldiers and local militias fighting the merciless terrorists.”
Barre was referring to intensive wars in the northeast of Beledweyne town where Shabaab militants harassed pastoralist communities, including burning of localities known as Bukurre and Teedaan. In return, locally assembled militias, nicknamed Mo’awisley, assisted by the Somali National Army (SNA) in fighting and defeating the jihadists.
“I have reiterated that my government will focus on the liberation of the territories and maintenance of peace,” the premier said.
Prior to his departure to the central regions, PM Barre welcomed President Mohamud to a cabinet meeting in Mogadishu that discussed the way forward for the new government.
President Mohamud praised PM Barre and Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama for leading a government that is committed to realising a Somalia that is at peace with itself and the rest of the world.