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IGAD to resolve the rift between top Somali leaders

Storyline:National News

A special envoy of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) arrived in Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday for talks aimed at reconciling between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Premier Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed.

“IGAD is the midwife of the Somali peace process throughout the two decades of civil war. We are concerned that this political pushing and shoving may derail the progress being enjoyed in Somalia today,” IGAD envoy Mohamed Affey told Anadolu Agency by phone.

“Today I met with Somali Speaker Jawari (Mohamed Osman). I am glad that we share similar views on how best to tackle the current crisis in the Federal Government of Somalia and I believe it can be resolved,” he said.

Affey, a long-serving Kenyan diplomat who had earlier served as the Kenyan Ambassador to Somalia, is scheduled to meet both the Somali President and his Premier.

“I plead for unity among all Somali politicians. IGAD stands in solidarity with the people of Somalia,” he said.

The Somali president fell out with his prime minister over a cabinet reshuffle last month. Two ministers, who are close allies to the President, were moved to less privileged portfolios.

Earlier this week, the European Union and the U.N. called on both the Somali President and his Prime Minister to put to an end their political differences.

Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

The country appeared to inch closer to stability after government troops and African Union forces – deployed in the country since 2007 – drove the Al-Shabab group from most of its strongholds.

Source: World Bulletin