A delegation led by the IGAD envoy to Somalia, Amb. Mohamed Abdi Afay arrived in Beled Weyne to facilitate the inter- state formation of Hiiraan and the Middle Shabelle. The delegation also included senior officials from the Ethiopian foreign ministry and Gen. Gabre, a shadowy figure in Somali politics who troubleshoots major Somali negotiations. He was the top commander for the Ethiopian forces who invaded Somalia in December 2006.
The group met with Ugas Hassan and clan elders to discuss inter-regional state formation of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle which has been in a deadlock for quite some time.
Speaking to reporters, Amb. Afay said “We have agreed on most of the issues that we have discussed but there are still issues we have yet to resolve.” He also said that the organizations sole aim is to facilitate the state formation of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle which is lagging behind when compared to the rest of the country.
Ugas Hassan said that they have discussed some major issues and we will continue to sit for discussions. Political analysts have earlier pointed out complexities surrounding the state’s formation process, given lack of consensus, mistrust and rivalry among clans in the two regions.
The elders have earlier set tough terms on their endorsement for the formation of the proposed inter-regional state, demanding the allocation of the proposed state’s capital along with the conference’s venue for their region, a suggestion dismissed by its neighbouring region.
The federal government led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has made a previous attempt to facilitate the inter-regional state formation of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle, but their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.