30 November 2012

Somalia: Five Committees to Prepare Jubaland Convention Established

Kismayo — Five committees to make preparations for the opening of the anticipated convention to establish Jubaland have been setup, Garowe Online reports.

According to Jubaland authorities, there have been five committees set up to establish the Jubaland state in southern Somalia.

The committees include a Security Committee, Election Committee, Selection Committee, Logistics and Financial Committee, and an Awareness Committee, according to Jubaland sources. Each committee consists of 11 members.

The committees will be fundamental in creating the Jubaland state that has been backed by IGAD regional bloc.

A total of 485 delegates from the local communities in Lower Jubba, Middle Juba, and Gedo regions will be invited to the convention. The delegates are expected to discuss and ratify the Jubaland state charter that legally establishes Jubaland.

A new Jubaland State Parliament is expected to be formed, which will then elect a new state president. According to local sources in Kismayo, the frontrunner for President of Jubaland state is Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Ahmed Madoobe), who is the leader of Ras Kamboni militia aided by Kenyan-AMISOM forces in the liberation of Kismayo from Al Shabaab group's control in September.

The three regions that make up Jubaland include Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba, and Gedo regions in southern Somalia. The 485 Jubaland convention delegates are allocated as such: 185 delegates for Lower Jubba region, 165 delegates for Gedo region, and 135 delegates for Middle Jubba region.

Local communities have been actively involved in establishing Jubaland state since earlier 2012. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has opposed Jubaland, preferring instead to appoint a local governor from Mogadishu. Jubaland communities have protested President Hassan's position, and in recent public speeches, President Hassan has softened his position on Jubaland.

Security has improved in Kismayo, although Al Shabaab fighters have been responsible for bombings and guerrilla attacks.

Once formed, Jubaland will join states like Puntland to form part of the new Federal Republic of Somalia.

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