Jubbaland, IGAD and the Way Forward
The Jubbaland Government, led by president Ahmed Mohamed Madobe, must not initiate any form of dialogue with a government led by a hostile president who threatens its existence without substantial preconditions. In an IGAD summit held in Addis Ababa on May 24, the fact finding and confidence building mission on the issue of Jubbaland recommended that Jubbaland State hold a dialogue with Somali Federal Government in Mogadishu to overcome their differences (IGAD, 2013). The current president has reignited negative tribal sentiments, violated the constitution, and is accused of organizing clan violence.
The current president of Somalia has thus far instigated tribal sentiments by ridiculing the victims of organized violence, mostly the Darod tribe who had fled from Mogadishu in 1991 to escape the clan cleansing led by Mohammad Farah Aideed and his political organization, the USC. From the regions of Bay and Bakool to the shores of Mogadishu, the campaign of the USC militia killed and displaced thousands, raped countless victims, and starved hundreds of thousands. Hassan Sh. Mohamud, referred to these victims, whom to this day are refugees, in a recent meeting held in Mogadishu.. In the meeting, Mohamud declared to a crowd of Mogadishu residents, “whom you call the bad guys who murdered, killed, and brought destruction of Somali society are other people’s heroes.” In another occasion, in a sarcastic and threatening tone, he ridiculed these victims for trying to reclaim their homes and complaining too much about being victims of violence. He continued “those who are occupied by yesterday, by saying we were killed, we were displaced, our houses were burned, our cars were robbed, we were victimized, those who still complain about being victims, will lose tomorrow.” In both occasions, he met with clapping and jubilation by his audiences. His speeches and actions have triggered much trauma among the USC victims, many of whom are beginning to equate him with the late Mohamed Farah Aideed.
President Mohamud has violated the constitution by trying to block the creation of Jubbaland State. He refuses to recognize the right of regions to create their own governments, which is in line with the Somali Federal Provisional Constitution. Many Somali intellectuals and the public see him as an anti-federalist and a dictator who constantly violates the Somali federal constitution. A Jubbaland official recently stated that “their policy [the Somali Federal Government] has become more dictatorial and [led] more [by a]Mogadishu driven mentality” Accordingly, Puntland State and other regions of Somalia such as Jubbaland, Galmudug State, and Bay and Bakol regions have lost trust in him as a national leader. He is no longer seen as a national leader, but widely viewed as a self-interested clan leader.
Mohamud is currently accused of organizing clan violence in the coastal port city of Kismayo by employing a warlord such as Barre Hirale to disrupt the Jubbaland conference being held there. Hirale came from Mogadishu to Kismayo three weeks before the election of president Madobe and claimed to be the president of Jubbaland on the same day Ahmed Madobe was elected by the conference. Ahmed Madobe has also accused the Somali president for organizing clan violence in Kismayo and the wider Jubbaland region during an interview he gave to the BBC on May 25, 2013.Garowe Online reported president Ahmed Madobe as saying:
“We invited the Federal Government to the Jubaland conference. However, the Federal Government is interfering directly by organizing meetings with local clans and even military officials”(Garowe Online, 2013).
The government of Jubbaland must have preconditions to initiate talks with the Somali Federal Government. A successful dialogue may only occur when both parties meet with the intention of reconciliation and progress. Until the aforementioned issues are rectified, any dialogue with the current government led by Mohamud will only bear rotten fruit.
Dhagayso Madaxweyne Culusow, iska ilaawa Hantidi la Idinka Dhacay. (2013). Retrieved fromhttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=178883242270365&set=vb.264385903648462& type=2&theater
Garowe Online. (2013). Somalia: Jubaland president accuses Federal Gov of ‘organizing clan violence’. Retrieved fromhttp://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Jubaland_president_accuses_Federal_Gov_of_organizing_clan_violence.shtml
IGAD. (2013). Report of the IGAD confidence building mission to Mogadishu and Kismayo 16-19 May 2013.Retrieved from http://somalimidnimo.com/audio/IGADkismayo.pdf
KTN Kenya. (2013) .Jubbaland elects new president. Retrieved fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6CKew1iEaQ