22 January 2013

Somalia - Jubaland Formation Process Underway - Kismayo Leader

Kismayo — Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, who is also leader of pro-government Ras Kamboni militia, told the BBC Somali Service on Tuesday that the delegates are supposed to begin arriving in Kismayo in the coming days.

Speaking from Kismayo, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe said: "The Jubaland technical committee is visiting districts in Lower Jubba and Gedo regions and the convention delegates expected to arrive in Kismayo in the coming days."

Continuing, the Kismayo leader said that the Somali Federal Constitution permits regions to form state governments, such as Jubaland. He called on local communities in Jubaland to support the new state, saying: "Over the past 21 years, when have you ever seen a leader in Kismayo asking the people to freely elect their own leaders? We do not wish to return to clan hostilities of the past. We are moving forward."

He was asked about the Somali Federal Government's plans to appoint administrations for districts in southern Somalia, saying: "This Jubaland process has been continuing over the past year and is supported by local communities, the former TFG [Transitional Federal Government] and IGAD regional bloc. We expect the new Somali Federal Government to chair and play a role at the upcoming Jubaland Convention in Kismayo."

Somali Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled told the VOA Somali Service during a Tuesday interview that the Somali Federal Government supports local communities to establish their own governments. Minister Guled dismissed reports that the Somali Federal Government was planning to appoint district administrations for areas liberated from Al Shabaab terrorist group.

Kismayo is a strategic port city located around 500km south of Mogadishu. In September 2012, Somali forces aided by Kenyan-AMISOM troops seized Kismayo from Al Shabaab terror group.

Some political groups have accused Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of opposing the formation of Jubaland, but the President has denied this accusation in public comments.


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