Shariff Sheikh fails to strike deal with Hassan Sheikh in Nairobi


Mogadishu (GO) - Former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed says only dialogue will save Somalia from plunging into a possible political conflict, noting that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has the capacity to organise for such meetings with other leaders.

Sharif Sheikh, who handed over powers to Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after the famous defeat of Al-shabaab from Mogadishu in 2012, held the first ever meeting with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in as many months, where they bought agreed on fixing contentious issues.

The two leaders discussed constitutional affairs, politics and future of the country, and the current differences between federal government and Puntland have ended without result. Sharif Sheikh has been calling for dialogue.

The former leader said he believes the current political differences should be resolved through dialogue. He thanked traditional elders and intellectuals who arranged the meeting with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who is pushing for constitutional changes.

However, the two leaders failed to agree on fundamentals, including the ongoing constitutional constitutional debate, which has severely affected running of the country, with Hassan Sheikh standing his ground on constitutional changes.

"Despite our efforts, consensus was elusive on key topics such as constitutional matters, political future, and the ongoing dispute between the Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland State," Shariff Sheikh said.

"We remain committed to dialogue as the foundation for political resolution and unity. I am grateful for the traditional elders and intellectuals who facilitated these important discussions.”

Already, four chapters of the new constitution have been approved by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud after passing through parliament without opposition. Among the changes include Somalia electing president directly on ballot just like other politicians.

The changes will also see the president wield a lot of powers which are currently being undertaken by the Prime Minister, who is in charge of government. These changes will be effected in the next cycle of elections within the country.

Puntland has accused President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of selfishness while withdrawing support for the federal government until 'we hold dialogue'. Said Abdullahi Deni approved withdrawal of Puntland from the federal government citing controversial constitutional changes.


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