Saturday, December 14, 2019
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Somalia’s Jubbaland conundrum

A centre of trade, commerce, agricultureand rich in marine resources,Kismayo and the surrounding Jubbaland area is of great economic importance to Somalia. The region also has the potential to hold the balance of power in the country, meaning all important actors – indigenous or foreign – want to control it. Strategically located at the southern tip of Somalia on the Indian Ocean coast, it has the biggest working sea port in Somalia and two airports. Kismayo and the surrounding region has been fought over by warlords, radical Islamists in the Shabab and clan militias (mainly from the Darod clan) since the start of civil war in 1991, in the process displacing approximately 500,000 refugees to camps in Kenya.

SomliaSince the emergence of the United Islamic Courts (UIC) in 2006, Kismayo has changed hands between various groups including theTransitional Federal Government (TFG), Hizbul Islam (HI), the Muaskar Ras Kamboni (MRK) and the Shabab. The Shabab’s capture of Kismayo in 2008 began the longest period of control by one group since 2006. This prompted the TFG to formulate a ‘liberation strategy’ that ultimately sought to mobilize the dominant clans in the Jubba regions against the Shabab by promising to support the creation of a ‘Jubbaland’ autonomous region – akin to those already existing in Puntland, Galmudug, and Khatumo – once the area was liberated.

An alliance of the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF), the MRK led by Ahmed Mohamed Islam (alias Ahmed Madobe), and TFG forces ousted the Shabab from Kismayo in late 2012. However, the newly created Somali Federal Government, under new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, reversed its earlier position and now opposes the establishment of Jubbaland. This decision has created new political tensions and allegations of bias from clans and figures in Jubbaland as the government has endorsed the establishment of an autonomous regional authority in Hiiraan. As Somalia begins the long-delayed process of state-building, this potential dispute could pose a threat to the country’s current – and almost unprecedented – sense of stability and optimism. Arguments about federalism could also affect the future political shape and stability of Somalia as a whole.

The ‘Jubbaland’ process The process of establishing a Jubbaland regional state consisting of Gedo, Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba regions is not new. It has been under consideration since 2009, when then-president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed affirmed the TFG’s commitment to the process as he sought to mobilize the regions’ political elites against the Shabab, which was then in control of much of region. The plan then was led by then-minister of defense, Mohamed Abdi Gandi, who is from the Jubba region and is Ogaden by clan. At the time, Gandi toured the region with the aim of developing a Kenyan offer to train more than 2,000 TFG soldiers hailing from the Jubbaland regions into an opportunity to also train would-be civil servants to administer a potential Jubbaland regional authority.

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Source: IHS.com
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We welcome the submission of all articles for possible publication on WardheerNews.com. WardheerNews will only consider articles sent exclusively. Please email your article today . Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WardheerNews.

WardheerNew’s tolerance platform is engaging with diversity of opinion, political ideology and self-expression. Tolerance is a necessary ingredient for creativity and civility.Tolerance fuels tenacity and audacity.

WardheerNews waxay tixgelin gaara siinaysaa maqaaladaha sida gaarka ah loogu soo diro ee aan lagu daabicin goobo kale. Maqaalkani wuxuu ka turjumayaa aragtida Qoraaga loomana fasiran karo tan WardheerNews.

Copyright © 2019 WardheerNews, All rights reserved

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