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The TFG Collapses: A Yusuf To Move To Galkayo, Gedi To Jowhar And The Sharif Opts For Baidoa
Baidoa, Somalia, April 8, 2006 – The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia has collapsed following renewed rifts between its warlord president Abdillahi Yusuf and his premier Ali Mohamed Geedi.
The new rift was caused by Abdillahi Yusuf’s refusal to move back to the small town of Jowhar which served as the official seat for his government since the TFG’s relocation to Somalia in mid 2005.
Jowhar is also Ali Geedi’s home town. It is 90km to the north of Mogadishu and ruled by a warlord called Mohamed Dheere.
Abdillahi Yusuf, Geedi and the Speaker of the TFG’s parliament Sharif Hassan arrived in Nairobi on last Thursday for what was then described as a retreat for consultations.
But it was later revealed that the purpose of the retreat was to establish a rapprochement between Abdillahi Yusuf and Mohamed Dheere in return for the former’s acceptance to move back to Jowhar.
The two men exchanged personal attacks through the media last month with Mohamed Dheere announcing that the TFG was no longer welcome in his middle Shabelle region. Concerned that the TFG’s relocation to Baidoa which is about 260km to the northwest of Mogadishu might leave the largest city in Somalia in the hands of terror groups, Ethiopia sent its foreign minister, Siyum Mesfin, to Nairobi in order to advise the TFG leaders on the repercussions that the abandonment of Jawhar might have for regional efforts against terrorism. However both Abdillahi Yusuf and Sharif Hassan rejected the idea of the TFG operating again from Jawhar.
Abdillahi Yusuf was last in Jawhar on February while Sharif Hassan has even not been there since the formation of the TFG.
Before flying back to Baidoa on Friday, Abdillahi Yusuf rejected to mend fences with Mohamed Dheere.
Following the inauguration of his presidency at Nairobi in 2004, Abdillahi Yusuf, who is an outsider in southern Somalia, refused to relocate to Mogadishu for security reasons.
According to close aides he recently rented a large villa in his home town of Galkayo in the Mudug region, at least 600km to the north of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile over 60 MPs in Baidoa have agreed to introduce a motion in parliament today that calls for the endorsement of Baidoa as the official headquarters of the TFG. The draft is backed by Speaker Hassan who is from Baidoa and Abdillahi Yusuf as well. Premier Geedi is in the meantime expected to return to Jawhar.
This latest rift among Abdillahi Yusuf, Sharif Hassan and Geedi has dealt a death blow to any hopes of reviving the TFG as a functional body.