Somalia: President Hassan on visit to Baidoa as protesters rally


Federal Government of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has arrived in Bay regional capital of Baidoa of southwestern Somalia for an official visit as hundreds attended protest rallies on Sunday, Garowe Online reports.

President Hassan is being accompanied on the provincial tour by cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and military commanders, with government officials disclosing that President Hassan would diffuse political tension between two rival groups in Baidoa.

The protestors were hoisting banners that read: “Federal Government shouldn’t meddle in our affairs,” and “our aspirations will determine the future,” in opposition to the role of Somalia’s Federal Government.

Meanwhile in Baidoa, hundreds of people held a welcoming rally in support of Jubba agreement and the wide recognition granted to an autonomous state consisting of Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions.

Mohamud is holding discussions on the future of the opposing federal states with traditional and community leaders, politicians and the president of southwest state of Somalia Mohamed Haji Abdinur as well as presidential claimant Madobe Nunow who failed to garner support for his administration from Somalia Federal Government and International Community at an army base.

Baidoa, 256km northwest of Mogadishu has been a spot for rallies and parallel regional conferences over the last few months.

On 3rd of March, a controversial election that crowned Madobe Nunow, former Member of Parliament and Information Minister faced tough opposition from Federal Government of Somalia and Jubaland administration.

Two flags have been raised above the buildings on the main roads in Baidoa as emblem for southwestern state of Somalia.

Organizers within the previous regional conference absorbed Gedo, Lower Jubba and Middle Jubba regions into southwest state map in a bid to breach Jubba agreement which was signed in Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in August 2013 under the auspices of IGAD by Mogadishu-based Federal Government and Jubaland.

Last Thursday, Over 700 delegates representing Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions have elected Abdinur as the president of southwest state of Somalia.