Somalia: Why Kenya Is Interested in Jubaland Elections

analysis

Kenya is keenly watching the developments in Jubaland ahead of the elections.

The incumbent President Madobe has long been an ally of the East African neighbor who view his relation as a plus in its efforts against militant group Al-shabab at bay.

A Kenyan diplomatic source said "These elections are very crucial. The stability of the region against the insurgence of Al-Shabaab would largely be influenced depending on how the elections go. I can tell you that Kenya, without doubt, has huge stakes".

It is obvious that the Federal Republic of Somalia is opposed to the re-election of Madobe. Kenya has been supporting Madobe for a long time and considers him a key partner in the war against Al-Shabaab. That actually puts President Uhuru's government in a tight corner.

Madobe faces eight other opponents in the historic presidential contest. They are Anab Mohamed Dahir, Mohamed Abdulle Magan, Mohamed Omar Gedi, Ahmed Rabi, Mohamoud Mohamed Omar, Ahmed Abdi Abdi, Abdi Hiis Udan and Abdirahman Omar Osman, all who have been critical of Madobe's administration.

In seeking re-election, Madobe has promised to pursue Al-Shabaab militants and end radicalisation of the youth.

Madobe, the former leader of the Ras Kamboni Brigade who supported the KDF as they chased Al-Shabaab militants from Kismayu in 2012, is said to be a safe pair of hands for Jubaland.

The autonomous region that shares a border with Kenya has been under Madobe's leadership since 2013.

President Kenyatta's administration, however, is said to be walking a tightrope to balance the political interests of the Republic of Somalia and Jubaland.

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