25 February 2013

Somalia: Ministerial Delegation From Mogadishu Depart to Kismayo

Kismayo — A Somali Federal Government (SFG) Ministerial delegation led by Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled arrived in Kismayo one day after announcing that the SFG would build a state for Jubaland, Garowe Online reports.

Minister Guled led a SFG delegation including Minister of Finance and Planning Mohamud Hassan Suleiman, Minister of Defense Abdihakim Mohamud Haji Fiqi and other SFG officials arrived in Kismayo airport on Monday.

The purpose of the visit was not publicly stated but local sources close to the SFG said that the visit is to calm tensions that broke out after clashes between militia forces and Somali troops on Saturday.

The visit comes one day after Minister Guled announced that the SFG would be hosting a convention to build a state for the Jubba and Gedo regions, overlapping a community led Jubaland state formation conference set to be held on Tuesday.

Minister Guled said that the state conference would be more inclusive than the community led state formation conference, although it had been backed by IGAD regional bloc and even mentioned in a report in 2013 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

According to the Somali Federal Constitution the SFG's role in a state formation process is to enable the process -in which the Jubaland process has been going on for some years - and support it.

A close source in the Puntland government told GO that a Puntland press release slated to be released on Monday, urges that the the international community and SFG give full support to the community led Jubaland state formation process and "adhere to the Somali Federal Constitution".

The community led Jubaland state formation process has been underway for the past few years and has come under pressure by Somali government officials in Mogadishu, who have opposed the state formation process, despite the legitimacy of state-building under the country's Federal Constitution.

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