Tough negotiations have been going on in Garowe, Puntland, between the two sides for 3rd straight day. There are sticking points that have a long history of Puntland complaints to the Federal Government on unsatisfactory working relationships and cooperation, lack of common vision for security architecture, absence of sound public policy on equitable resources sharing, petroleum issues, education, ports development, diplomatic postings, among other things, and preparations for the forthcoming National Consultative Conference. Observers said the two parties are close to bridge the gap in next one or two sessions before Federal President leaves town.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Post Script and updates after arrival HSM:

Since Somalia is governed by Madax-ka-Nools, Garowe talks are mainly being conducted by presidents HSM and Deni. As talks got even harder amid earnest desire of HSM to strike a deal with PL as a starting point to consensus-building with FMS as he feels pressure from the International Community, HSM is reported last night to have retired to his room earlier, visibly moody. President Deni had opted for consulting with his three close ministers: Interior Minister, Dabancad, Finance Minister, Hassan Shire Abgaal and Water and Energy Minister, Caarshe. These ministers have advised PL flexibility with HSM.

Accompanying President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in his Puntland State visit were a number of his advisers of Puntland origin. In the past when lived in Puntland these advisers were active members of the society. Once recruited by the offices of Federal President and Prime Minister these advisers seemed to have run out of gas. Once they arrived Garowe with the President, they seem to have been left alone to take a short vacation and chit-chat with their former colleagues in town.

As Presidents HSM & Deni are close to bridge the gap of difference in their relationships, and as officials from both sides were excluded from the two men’s closed-door conversations, tonight they decided to invite some of their officials aides to dinner at PL presidency. Discreet Signals coming from Deni’s quarters indicate that they were planning to convene in Garowe a conference of the National Consultative Council (Forum), the Federal Member States. Another indication they were close to understanding on issues secretly discussed in Garowe Summit. Some of the leaders of FMS aren’t in good terms with the Federal Government as a political fallout from the recent Presidential Race in Mogadishu. It was needed to bring them back together under the auspices of the Prime Minister.

From now on, what we expect from Garowe Summit is the Communique. Pay attention to the wording used with regards to some of sensive issues discussed as other Federal Member States are monitoring the substance and outcome of the HSM-Deni Talks.

As expected today, HSM was escorted to tour important PL premises like ministries and bank. He was accompanied by Pl President Deni. HSM and members of his delegation looked impressed by the peace and stability residents of the State were enjoying, despite the fact that Puntland was under-performing after 24 years of statehood.

HSM plans to have a conversation with Puntland civil society tonight before he leaves for Mogadishu tomorrow. It is anticipated that the two sides will issue a joint statement on Garowe Talks to calm down public discomfort with regards to the closed-door negotiation style by mainly two presidents

In principle, an understanding has been reached to strengthen working relationships between the Federal Government and Federal Member State of Puntland. Counterpart ministries and agencies should be working together on federal fashion. Puntland would help in improving inter-state and inter-regional cooperation. We haven’t seen yet press statement or communique to reflect on the articles of any deal struck

Federal President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has left Garowe for Mogadishu today, having spent four days in Puntland, while he deliberated most of his time on private and non-stop closed-door conversations with Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni, isolated at Presidency. No expected press statement or communique ever appeared after the conclusion of the Summit Talks. Only a courtesy audience was offered last night to some titled elders. HSM’s visit to Puntland State wasn’t felt beyond President Deni HQ. Substance of was privately discussed between the two men remains a mystery as far as Puntland general public is concerned. In comparison, the visit by Former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to Puntland towards the end of his term was more impactful here.

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