Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Somali Six (plus one)

Here are some photos of the six Somali leaders who are signatories of the process to end the seemingly endless political transition in the country. I met them in Addis Ababa where, with the 'help' of the UN, US, UK and AU, they agreed on a very tight and challenging diary to ensure the political transition will end on the deadline of 20 August 2012.

The President of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

Me with the Somali president (but will he be after the August 20 deadline for the transition to end?)

Prime minister of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali

Me with the Somali PM who assured me the transition would end on time and wouldn't say whether he wants to run for president.

The Speaker of the (now defunct) Somali parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan

I asked the Speaker whether he still had a job now that parliament was officially declared defunct. He told me he did have a job because he was still a 'signatory'.

The President of Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Abdirahman Mohamud Farole

Foreign companies are prospecting for oil in Puntland, President Farole told me he would be happy to share potential oil revenues with the rest of Somalia.

The President of Galmudug another semi-autonomous region. His name is Mohamed Ahmed Alin.

The Galmudug President told me he was very happy with the agreement.

The leader of the Mogadishu wing of the Sufi militia, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a, 'Khalif' Abdulkadir Moalin Nur

The 'Khalif' is very tall and I am quite short.

Flt Lt (Rtd) Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana, now African Union High Representative for Somalia

Flt Lt (Rtd) JJ Rawlings looked much more relaxed when I met him the day after the meeting was ended. He told me he hoped none of the Somali politicians would take advantage of the situation and spoil it for everyone else.

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