All members of Somalia’s transitional federal government, including the President and the Prime Minister, have officially been invited to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi-based diplomats told Garowe Online.
The invitation was extended by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a grouping of seven East African countries that helped establish the Somali government in 2004.
The agenda of the IGAD-sponsored conference has not been made public yet, but Garowe Online sources say topics will range from the reconciliation process to rumors of a “new” government. [ Full story]
Somali lawmakers in the town of Baidoa, where the country’s parliament is based, have been holding group talks in recent days ahead of the conference’ s opening on October 27, sources said.
A group of ex-government officials, current MPs and Cabinet ministers and members of the opposition excluding Islamic Courts officers are “engaged in direct efforts” to influence the conference’s agenda, the sources added.
This group of politicians, who are openly opposed to President Abdullahi Yusuf, want to use the IGAD conference to propose that a new interim government be established for Somalia.
Some IGAD officers have confidentially told Garowe Online that Somalia has “a government in name,” while noting that President Yusuf and the parliament are at odds over Cabinet members.
IGAD governments, specially Ethiopia and Uganda who have troops in Somalia, want to restore national order in the war-torn Horn of Africa country.
But Somali government leaders have been accused of internal bickering, as violence worsens across the country and the humanitarian crisis deepens.
Another round of peace talks between the Somali government and its Islamist-led opposition are supposed to open in Djibouti later this month.