International conference to evaluate elections, security opens in Mogadishu

The Somali Partnership Forum which brings together Somali leaders and the international community opened today in Mogadishu as political battles over the upcoming elections hit the rooftop.

The Forum which seeks to evaluate progress since the 2017 London Conference was opened by Prime Minister Mohamed Roble and is expected to conclude today.

Notable in the agenda is elections, transition plan and economic recovery in light of the triple effects of COVID-19, locust invasions and floods.

The meeting happens at a time Somali’s leaders are embroiled in a bitter political dispute over the preparation for the upcoming elections.

On the one side is President Mohamed Farmaajo squaring off with Ahmed Madobe (Jubbaland) over elections in Gedo while on the other is the president’s battle with his opponents who have accused him of planning to influence the poll process.

Farmaajo, however, said Sunday he was committed to a ‘free and fair’ election.

A caucus of 14 presidential candidates has demanded the interim federal elections team appointed by Farmaajo be reconstituted since it was ‘packed with political cronies and civil servants’.

UN head in Somalia James Swan, his AMISOM counterpart Francisco Madeira and World Bank country representative Kristina Svensson will also address the forum.


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