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Farmaajo in Ethiopia, Khaire in Qatar as Galmudug and Jubbaland race hots up

Storyline:National News

President Mohamed Farmaajo has made a stopover in Ethiopia as Prime Minister Hassan Khaire visits Qatar in what has been described as calculated efforts at seeking support for the upcoming Jubbaland and Galmudug elections.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister announced on Twitter President Farmaajo had arrived in the country Sunday morning and ‘held discussions on bilateral issues, including further strengthening cooperation in regional peace & security.’

President Farmaajo had been to Saudi Arabia to attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting.

A day after Farmaajo landed in Saudi Arabia, PM Khaire reportedly accompanied by Intelligence deputy director Fahad Yasin left for Qatar.

Wadajir Party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur said the travels by the two leaders were aimed at collecting funds for the upcoming Jubbaland and Galmudug elections.

“All these moves r aimed at mobilizing 4 funds & troops to fight Gamudug & Jubbaland States. This government has tied its political future to gaining victory against these two states. We, therefore, urge all who wish well 4 Somalia 2 confront this plot & support the two states,” tweeted Abdishakur.

The former presidential candidate added that Yasin, a major power broker in the Farmaajo administration had made two trips to Addis Ababa in the recent past.

Galmudug elections are expected to be held in July. The current president Ahmed Haaf and his chief minister Sheik Ali Shakir who heads the Alhussuna faction have claimed elections should be held in 2021 noting their union constitution last year provided for a whole new term.

But perhaps the most crucial of the elections would be in Jubbaland where the Federal Government is keen on dethroning Ahmed Madobe who has been in office since 2013. Madobe’s wide influence in Jubbaland politics and perceived Kenyan support has raised the stakes with reports Villa Somalia is keen on a bilateral arrangement to bring in Ethiopia troops to Kismayu outside Amisom.

Ethiopian troops were heavily in the South West elections which saw the detention and removal of key opponent and former Al-Shabaab number two Mukhtar Robow from the race. FGS candidate Abdiaziz Lafta Green was elected president.