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Southwest State President travels to Ethiopia for security meetings

Friday August 5, 2022


Mogadishu (HOL) - Southwest President Abdilaziz Laftagareen arrived in Addis Ababa on Friday, following an invitation by the Ethiopian government to discuss ongoing security operations.

President Laftagareen's trip came days after Ethiopian officials led by the head of the Ethiopian Defense Forces' deployment division, Gen Tesfaye Ayelow, visited Baidoa, the capital of Southwest State.

Political insiders say that relations between the South West regional state and Somalia's federal government are rocky. Some say that the recent appointment of former Al-Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow, who once ran for President in South West State against Laftagareen, to Somalia's federal cabinet this week may have played a part in the strained relations.

Somalia's previous government led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, placed Robow under a four-year house arrest after violent protests erupted in Baidoa when he was removed as a candidate.

Laftagareen was a close political ally of the former Somali president, as was Ethiopia's President Abiy Ahmed.

Relations between Somalia and Ethiopia, who were once bitter regional rivals, warmed considerably with the emergence of Abiy Ahmed as Ethiopia's leader, who formed a tripartite alliance with Somalia and Eritrea. However, it is unclear where the two East African nations now stand diplomatically with the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who is working to reengage international partners who have been snubbed in recent years. 



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