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The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, welcomed the inauguration of Ahmed Ducaale Geelle “Xaaf” as the President of Galmudug that took place in Adaado yesterday.

“I congratulate President Xaaf. The members of the state legislature have handed you a great responsibility – to provide leadership to deliver results for the people of Galmudug” said SRSG Keating. “This includes jobs and economic opportunity, infrastructure and services, security and functional state institutions.”

The SRSG said that the international community is ready to support Galmudug, including to implement the national security architecture, but reconciliation is a prerequisite. He recalled the commitment made by President Xaaf at the recent London Conference to reach a settlement with Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a, and to resolve the conflict in Galkacyo.

“Advancing reconciliation efforts is key to the stability of Galmudug. In order to establish a more inclusive and viable administration, dialogue must start sooner rather than later,” said Mr. Keating. He noted that Galmudug and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a have common interests and a shared responsibility, namely to defend the area against the threat of Al Shabaab. “Dialogue must start as soon as possible.”

SRSG Keating also urged action to resolve the conflict in Galkacyo, which requires continued action by local actors to manage the situation on the ground, as well as political leadership by State Presidents to resolve constitutional differences, backed by the Federal Government.

“With Galmudug opening a new chapter today, I urge the Galmudug authorities, the state assembly, civil society and many others to join hands in support of peace, stability and economic development,” said Mr. Keating.

The United Nations and the broader international community look forward to working with President Xaaf and his government as they carry out important work for the benefit of the people of Galmudug.

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