MOGADISHU, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Tuesday officially opened the state formation conference for two regions in central Somalia as part of the country's federalization process.
The conference which is expected to run for the next three months culminating into the election of the state president preceding establishment of parliament has drawn delegates from Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions.
In his opening remarks, Mohamud called on the delegates and all stakeholders of the process to put their minds together in the coming weeks towards a result which will take into consideration the views and aspirations of the people of the two regions.
"I call on the people of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle to take a unified approach towards the formation of a state which will be home to the people of these two regions. I also appeal to investors to take part in building these cities and making them investments hubs in central Somalia," he said.
The state formation process which was supposed to start September last year was put off after differences emerged between elders over the choice of the proposed state headquarters and choice of presidential candidates.
However, after a series of consultations with the Federal government, the two parties agreed to have the headquarters in Buluburde, Hiiraan while the president would be from Middle Shabelle.
An elder who spoke to Xinhua hailed the process calling on stakeholders to set differences aside and embark on the state formation process.
"I am glad that finally we have the conference starting after several negotiations. The president accompanied by Federal parliament MPs have today converged for this historic conference and we are confident of the security situations," said Aadan Guled.
The Somali National Army and the African Union backed force AMISOM have pitched tent in various parts of Jowhar town to provide security for the delegates.