Galkayo — Somali officials in central Somalia say two political factions are joining forces to form a joint administration in the central regions, Garowe Online reports.
Closed door meetings in south Galkayo have been held between Galmudug administration and the pro-government Ahlu Sunna Islamist group.
The meetings have concluded with "preliminary agreement" which indicates that the parties have agreed "in principle" to establish a joint administration for the central regions.
Galmudug has influence in parts of south Mudug region, while Ahlu Sunna controls most districts in Galgadud region.
Political tensions in Galmudug continue over a disagreement on who is the legitimate leader, while Gen. Abdi Qeybdiid has claimed that he is Galmudug president. Qeybdiid has publicly called for the establishment of an administration in central Somalia.
But another authority in central Somalia's Galgudud region, Himan and Heeb, has dismissed the Galmudug-Ahlu Sunna discussions "a surprise", according to local media.
Himan and Heeb spokesman Mohamed Omar Hagafey told Mogadishu media that "Galmudug has political dispute internally and Ahlu Sunna cannot agree on how to incorporate its armed wing into the Somali [federal] government."
Regions in central Somalia come under the control of various Somali political factions such as Galmudug a nd A hlu Sunna, and c riminal groups including pirate s and Al S habaab terrorist group that controls El Bur district of Galg adud region.