28 February 2013

Somalia: Jubaland State Formation Conference Underway in Kismayo

Kismayo — The Jubaland state conference is under way in Kismayo on Thursday, officials and dignitaries from all three regions and abroad are in attendance, Garowe Online reports.

The Jubaland state conference which was postponed to allow Somali Federal Government (S.F.G.) officials to attend has begun and is underway in the port city of Kismayo.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohamud Dauud Odweyne Spokesman for Ahlu SunnahWal Jama in Gedo and the Jubbas and a member of the technical committee for the Jubaland state process, stated to Somali media that officials from Gedo and the Jubbas were attending the conference.

"Residents in the regions have welcomed the conference very much, and delegates from all over are arriving in Kismayo to attend the Jubaland conference," said Sheikh Odweyne.

Sheikh Odweyne had been attending meetings in Garbaharey over the past week where there were politicians from that region who were opposed to the community led Jubaland conference and wanted the S.F.G. to play a more direct role in the Jubaland state formation.

"We had meetings in Garbaharey and were successful in getting the politicians who were against the [Jubbaland] state formation process to understand and realize the importance of the community led process, and the finally agreed to take part," said Sheikh Odweyne who spoke to Somali media on Wednesday.

The spokesman also said that he welcomes any official or politician who is concerned about the Jubaland process to attend the conference.

S.F.G. Minister of Interior Abdikarim Hassan Guled after returning from leading a delegation to visit Kismayo on Monday, tweeted that, "All parts must be aware of that no clan or an armed group can have the decision of creating admin to a great town like Kismayo".

The SFG ministerial delegation that visited Kismayo on Monday, requested that the state formation conference be held in Mogadishu which was rejected by interim authorities in Kismayo and Jubaland state organizers.

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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