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Sheikh Sharif's Nairobi meeting with President Hassan Sheikh ends without resolution


Saturday April 13, 2024


FILE PHOTO - Former President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. CREDIT/ X / @@HESharifShAhmed

NAIROBI — A high-stakes meeting in Nairobi between Somalia's former President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and current President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, aimed at addressing the country's ongoing political and constitutional crises, concluded without a resolution despite lengthy discussions.

"After extensive discussions, we did not achieve a resolution on all points," Sheikh Sharif stated in a press release. He emphasized the need for dialogue, adding, "I attended this meeting in good faith, aiming to find resolutions to various contentious issues."

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Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud travelled to Nairobi on Thursday to meet with his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, to reach a diplomatic solution to the Ethiopia-Somaliland MoU dispute.

The talks focused on constitutional matters and political affairs, including the conflict between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Puntland State Government. Sheikh Sharif expressed his appreciation to the traditional and intellectual leaders who facilitated the discussions, saying, "May God reward their efforts."

Sheikh Sharif's statement highlighted the importance of resolving political conflicts through "dialogue and consensus" despite the lack of progress during the meeting. 

The inability to resolve disagreements comes against the backdrop of recent controversies over constitutional amendments in Somalia. Tensions have escalated following the Somali Parliament's endorsement of a contentious constitutional amendment, a move that has been heavily criticized by former leaders, including Sheikh Sharif.

In recent months, Sheikh Sharif, along with another former president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, has been vocal in opposing the perceived unilateral decisions by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's administration, particularly concerning constitutional changes. Both leaders have repeatedly called for a more inclusive process in national governance and constitutional revisions, arguing that the current approach could undermine Somalia's stability.

Last month, both former presidents expressed their frustrations in a joint press release, citing "the president's non-compliance" as a significant barrier to progress. Their concerns were echoed in earlier statements and meetings held in Garowe, the capital of the Puntland State, where they and Puntland's President Saeed Abdullahi Deni stood united against the proposed constitutional amendments.

The ongoing constitutional review process, a key campaign pledge of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, aims to finalize and implement a new national constitution. However, the approach has been met with significant opposition, signalling deep-seated divisions that continue to challenge Somalia's path toward political stability and governance reform.


Here's a translated version of Sheikh Sharif's statement.


Press Release

A meeting was recently held in Nairobi, aimed at addressing the fate of the country. This gathering was organized by cultural and intellectual leaders.

I wish to extend my gratitude to the traditional leaders and intellectuals who tirelessly facilitated the dialogue embracing diverse viewpoints. May God reward their efforts.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and I convened as per his request to address and resolve existing issues through dialogue. I attended this meeting in good faith, aiming to find resolutions to various contentious issues, specifically:

  1. Constitutional matters
  2. Political affairs and the future of the country
  3. The conflict between the Federal Government of Somalia (DFS) and the Puntland State Government
Despite our extensive discussions, we did not achieve a resolution on all points.

I would like to extend my thanks once again to the intellectuals and business leaders for their dedication and financial support in attempting to resolve these disputes




 





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