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President, PM fail to come to terms after their first sit-down

Sunday September 12, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) - A much anticipating meeting between President Farmajo and Prime Minister Roble ended early this morning without any conclusive agreements.

Saturday was the first time that the two leaders met face to face since the onset of Somalia's latest constitutional crisis. The meeting was brokered by Southwest State's President, Abdulaziz Laftagareen and President Ahmed Karie Qoorqoor of Galmudug.

HOL has learned that country's Roble and Farmajo disagreed on several fronts.

It's reported that throughout the meeting, Farmajo's stance was that he was still in charge of Somalia's security and that PM's role was to delegate the elections. The two also disagreed greatly on their constitutional powers.

The two leaders could not agree on how to proceed with the Ikran Tahlil case.  Roble reportedly demanded a thorough investigation into the Ikraan Tahlil case. He insisted that perpetrators would be held to book by a military court. Farmajo allegedly drew the line at Roble's insistence that the case be handled by a military court, which is more likely to render capital punishment as a verdict if convicted. Farmajo reportedly agreed to an investigation but favoured a quiet resolution to the case that has gripped Somalia and angered the public.

Ikran's family has already filed charges against top NISA officials.

Earlier this week, Roble publicly accused Farmajo of sabotaging investigations into Tahlil's murder.

Secondly, the two discussed the recent power struggle that threatens Somalia's security and election schedule.  Farmajo insisted that he has the sole authority to select the new NISA director. Roble refused and argued he was within his constitutional authority to sack Fahad Yasin and hire the interim director. Roble said that his appointee, Bashir Gobe, should remain as the nation's top spy chief or a suitable third-party candidate be selected that is cleared by them both. This position was reportedly unacceptable for Farmajo.

Sources also reported that Farmajo later asked the mediating officials to be left alone with Roble to discuss these matters privately. Still, their side-line meeting ended hours later with no result.

No communique was issued after the meeting,  which lasted several hours. The principal mediators, QoorQoor and Laftagareen, said that the talks were not yet over and that they were arranging for another sit-down between the two leaders.


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