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Mogadishu Set for the Polls

Somali leaders have struck a deal to wrap up parliamentary elections by February 25, after repeated delays that have threatened the stability of the troubled country. The agreement was reached after several days of talks hosted by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble with state leaders to try to defuse a bitter political crisis. “The ongoing election of the House of the People (lower house) will be completed between the periods of January 15 and February 25, 2022,” said a statement issued after the talks in the capital Mogadishu. Roble and Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, have long been at loggerheads over the long-delayed elections, with fears their squabbling could erupt into violence. The international community has voiced its alarm over the crisis, fearing for the fate of the fragile Horn Of Africa nation as it continues to battle a deadly insurgency by Al-Shabaab Islamist militants. The long-running dispute between the two leaders erupted again last month when Farmajo suspended Roble, the man he had himself chosen as premier in September 2020.