Background: The jubaland Conference held in Nairobi Kenya on June 28-30, 2012 organized by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was a step toward for peace and stability not only Somalia but also for the region. For the last 22 years, Jubaland region of Somalia experienced many conflicts, wars, and unstop bloodshed compared to other parts of the country.
Because of its geographical location, strategic port, airport, rivers, rich fertile land and wealthy livestock, warlords and their affiliated tribes tried to control this region by force for decades. In addition for the clan warfare, Jubaland currently became the lifeline/income source for the Alshabab militia “the Al-Qaida branch of East Africa” who controls most of the Southern Somalia and home of its top leadership circle.
consequently, There are a common interest or shared goals for the warlords and Alshabab “Al-Qaida in the horn of Africa” regarding Jubaland state formulation, which is to make sure not be stable, not be peaceful and not to be prosperous region. Peaceful Somalia would make both warlords and Alshabab criminals in nature, and that is the reason Alshabab militants are putting fierce resistance in Kismayo and its surroundings by arming their traditional clan allies “Bay, and Bakool”. On the other hand, their partner warlords are using media and their title for the Somali government to prolong the regions problems by opposing any peace proposal.
In similar situation, warlords and their interest group are using radios and Somali websites to spread misinformation and sing their famous songs of ill-fated tribal minded by wanting either Alshabab rule lower Juba or return to civil war by openly denouncing the creation of stable, democratic based constitution, freedom of press, granting minority rights, and most important represented constituencies by elected officials from within the jubaland society. These two groups has a black history in Somalia for they have uprooted the local population and sent hundreds of thousands into refugee camps, burned forest for charcoal trade, and looted the livestock for the poor nomadic whatever pretext they use for their criminal behavior.
Classification of opponents of the jubaland state plan
For the last three weeks, there have been four different groups who have openly and disparate oppose the will of the jubaland population. Below, we are analyzing their motives, goals, objectives and commonality.
1. The former warlords
The Somali transitional government “TGG”’s parliament include former Somali warlords who have innocent men, women and children blood on their hands. For instance, last week a group of Bay, Bakool and Banadir regions’ well known warlords organized by Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade conducted a press conference in Mogadishu to denounce the Jubaland Statehood proposal.
When Alshabab captured Baydhabo, they have put in custody Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade and all of his militias plus weapons, and Mukhtar robow Ali, then top Alshabab ruler of Bay and Bakool region and member of the United Nations’ most wanted list let Mr. Habsade and all of his militia free for exchange of collaboration for their criminal tricks. Thus what we see now is exactly that joint venture and collaboration between Bay and bakool warlords and the top Alshabab leaders in Kismayo by both opposing the peace plan for tthe area. As we know the top ranks of Alshabab are from those regions, and very close relationships with them.
2. Alshabab militants
The Alshabab group survival depends that entire Somalia to be anarchic, uncontrolled, chaotic and without government for the foreseeable future. This would give them an opportunity to survive and continue to develop their network and continue harming the Somali population.
For its port taxation, Jubaland is the most resourceful area under their control and it would be their last stronghold in Somalia. Thus, any peaceful solution for the area is disaster for their existence.
3. individuals who see every possible solution for Somalia the opposite
The 3rd group is group of individuals who have unrestrained access for the Somali speaking media “VOA, BBC, Somali Sat, and internets” who use their media privilege to write a insincere and bias articles. They call themselves a Somali political expert while they are lack of fact and most important far from the reality.
For the past two weeks, anti stabilization groups of Somalia wrote extremely negative articles for the Jubaland initiate; these individuals whom most of them didn’t have any tie for the territory and from very far regions of Somalia use a nationalistic tone in their articles and claim Somalia has been invaded by Kenya and Ethiopia, while they never state their alliance “Ahlusunah waljameha of Galgadud” with Ethiopia.
In his latest article posted on many Somali websites, Mr. Mohamud M. Uluso condemned Ethiopia, Kenya and IGAD for the Jubaland initiative, however, to clear the air; he must tell us more about what he believes about Ahlu-Sunah of Galgadud and their alliance with the Federal democratic government of Ethiopia before his addresses about this area of the country. His current writing and previous ones lack sincerity regarding jubaland region and its people. Thus, people like Uluso ought to realize that Somalia is going into regional administrations under federal government mandate.
4. Tribal-minded politicians
The Somali Transitional government’s foreign minister out loudly criticize the stability plan of the jubaland region, while he deliberately implied to see alshabab militants to rule the region than peaceful regional state. He claimed that the TFG leadership has nothing to do with the conference’s preparations and not consulted; however, the fact of the topic is that the TFG was one of the lead signatory of the initial agreement. His VOA speech shows the inside hatred and animosity that he had for the local population and his clannish politics.
Faisal warabe, a well known Hargeisa politician who has been working very hard disunity of the Somalia for the last 22 years joined the opposition group for the Nairobi conference. It’s very clear and obvious to many Somalis who listened his speech in hargeisa that the purported Somaliland leader’ opposition to the peaceful and stability for the Somalia-South because most of the Alshabab leaders and fighters are from North of Somali “Somaliland” including their top leader, and share a common strategy and interest, which is to make sure the that Southern part of the country to be disarray forever.
Supporters of the Jubaland State of Somalia
1. The local population and their represented organizations
The local population overwhelming supports the creation a new democratic regional administration with the Federal republic of Somalia. Their support is based on their traditional conscience of loving peace and welcoming. The Jubalandese people got tired of wars, conflict and bloodshed, so they want to progress to statehood that is based on democratic principles with written constitution, which is living peace, brotherly and openness with their neighbors. That is.
2. Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
For the IGAD, they have realized the Somali problems ought to solve sooner than later because droughts, famine, piracy and extremist ideology aren’t only Somali problems but to the entire region. There have been many attacks organized in Somalia and killed many neighboring countries’ civilians. Thus, creating a constitutionally suitable autonomous region for the federal government is the only viable option for the region. This would increase the safety and security of Kenya and Ethiopia more, and it diminish the threat of extremist and their warlord affiliations.
The other important aspect is that anti peace groups need to comprehend that neighboring countries have a great interest for Somalia this time around. They want Somalia to be peaceful, strong and capable of defending its people, its borders and its nation because Somalia’s problem became an international and regional problem.
I would like to thank the international community, IGAD, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Somali political leaders who organized the Nairobi conference. It was an important step further for the peace and stability for the region and encourages local population to support the ongoing process. For the local population and their represent leaders, you have started a long journey that needs to invest in terms of money, energy, effort and most important to sacrifice your blood in order to establish a peaceful and prosperous jubaland State within the Somali republic. Thus, your unity and cooperation of this subject is essential the success of your future.
Asad K. Aliweyd
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