The absence of a regional leader delays meeting pre-poll crisis in Somalia

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The president of Galmadug state Abdi Kariye alias Qoor-Qoor is absent from the ongoing pre-election talks in Afisiyoni, Garowe Online has learned, in what could yet again deal a blow to efforts to rescue Somalia from plunging into a civil war.

Somalia is yet to hold elections even after the expiry of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's term on Feb 8, leading to concerns about the country's future. Farmajo is accused of being the stumbling block in the current electoral talks.

On Tuesday, the talks were further delayed after organizers failed to come up with an agreeable agenda, with some leaders calling for more inclusivity in the talks. It's now believed that the talks will resume on Wednesday.

But it's Kariye's absence that is now causing rifts in the country, given that he's a critical player. It's also unknown if the delay will have an impact on the progress expected from the electoral dialogue in Somalia.

Yesterday, sources told Garowe Online that Kariye was identified as the main obstacle in the ongoing talks between the FGS-FMS. Sources close to the Afisyone talks said president Qoorqoor threatened to storm out of the meeting in support of the outgoing president.

He's a close ally of outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and was previously integral in the signing of the September 17 pre-election deal. The government, however, didn't implement the deal leading to the current electoral impasse.

The international community has been pushing both sides of the political divide to strike a deal that would help solve the electoral crisis. Elections were first set to be held from December 2020 but the current administration failed to put all mechanisms in place.

GAROWE ONLINE

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