Ethiopia’s military chief and the president of Oromia state where PM Abiy Ahmed hails from secretly visited Mogadishu on Friday where they held talks with President Mohamed Farmaajo as Somalia heads to elections.
MOL can authoritatively report that General Birhanu Jula Gelalcha, the chief of general staff of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and the president of Oromia state Shimelis Abdisa travelled held closed-door with Farmaajo Friday.
The substance of the talks was not immediately clear but sources close to Villa Somalia told MOL the issue of elections and ENDF forces in Somalia was the main subject matter. Farmaajo and Abiy have forged a political relationship in the last two years that has seen them visit each other’s countries.
Farmaajo visited the restive Oromia state during one of his visits to Ethiopia last year. Analysts have linked Farmaajo intransigence to electoral talks to Abiy’s strong stance against opponents.
Abiy has played a crucial role in state governments elections in Somalia lending support to Farmaajo in pushing for the installation of his allies in the Federal Member States such as South West.
Attempts to kick out Ahmed Madobe during the 2018 elections failed after ENDF forces were denied landing at Kismayo airport by Kenyan troops based there.
Farmaajo is facing elections next month.