Somalia and DRC to Strengthen Relations, Agree Presidents Farmajo and Tshisekedi

From Left, Somalia's President Farmajo and DRC president Felix Tshisekedi at meeting in Kinshasa

Somalilandsun: The embattled Somalia President Mohamed Farmajo is in the Democratic Republic of Congo on an official visit.

Upon arrival in the DRC capital Kinshasa a meeting with his host President Felix Tshisekedi was held  in which bilateral relations were discussed as well as concurrence on the vital role played by African Union in  regional development

After the meeting President Farmajo via his official Twitter handle @M_Farmaajo  inforned

“Today I held a bilateral meeting with H.E. President Felix Tshisekedi @Presidence_RDC during my visit to the DRC. We discussed further strengthening our bilateral relations. We also discussed the key role @_AfricanUnion plays in the democratic development of Africa.

Presidnt Farmajo and his entourage received in Kinshasa

Touching on the visit the Mogadishu based Hiraanonline reported that “While the official agenda is unknown, some sources have told HOL that the two leaders will discuss the sour relationship between Kenya and Somalia. For its part, Villa Somalia has said that the meeting is simply intended to “strengthen bilateral relations.”

The trip is Farmajo’s first since receiving a highly controversial term extension which many opponents have denounced as a naked power grab.

The DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi came to power in 2019 after former Congolese strongman Joseph Kabila stepped down after 18 years in power. He was recently elected as the new Chairperson of the African Union for the year 2021. Tshisekedi travelled to Doha three weeks ago to meet Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, seeking investment for infrastructure projects. Qatar wields tremendous influence in Somalia as Farmajo’s key financial backer, and analysts believe they may be indirectly involved in the Kinshasa sit-down.

Protest over delayed Somalia elections in the capital Mogadishu -file photo

Farmajo faces mounting criticism back home after a hastily-convened parliamentary session granted him an extra two years in office last week. The Upper House rejected the move, but Farmajo signed it into law anyway, resulting in a strong rebuke from political opponents and international backers. Farmajo says that the extension will lead Somali’s to the first popular polls since 1969.