A delegation from the African Union, Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), arrived in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South West state on Monday. The delegation was warmly received at the airport by the South West State Minister of Security, Mr. Hasan Hussein Mohamed.
The AU-PSC held closed-door meetings with the acting President, Abdikadir Sharif Shekhuna, and later with the five presidential candidates. The discussions focused on a wide range issues including security and the forthcoming elections. Speaking to the media after the discussions, the AU Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador Francisco Madeira, who accompanied the AU-PSC delegation, explained the visit of the AU officials was to assess the political and security situation of the country.
"The purpose of this visit is to assess the security situation in Baidoa, in light of the upcoming presidential elections. It is our hope that the election will be free and fair," said Madeira. The delegation was also scheduled to visit the HirShabelle state, for talks with political leaders in that state.