News / Africa

Leadership Dispute Threatens Stability, Peace in Jubaland

Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, speaks during a meeting for the creation of a State of Jubaland in Kismayo, Somalia, Feb. 28, 2013.Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, speaks during a meeting for the creation of a State of Jubaland in Kismayo, Somalia, Feb. 28, 2013.
x
Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, speaks during a meeting for the creation of a State of Jubaland in Kismayo, Somalia, Feb. 28, 2013.
Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, speaks during a meeting for the creation of a State of Jubaland in Kismayo, Somalia, Feb. 28, 2013.
The Somali port city of Kismayo is in political crisis as two former warlords are both claiming to be president of the newly created Jubaland region of southern Somalia. Fears are growing that the rivalry could lead to an outbreak of violence. The Somali government still maintains it doesn’t recognize the two leaders.

The political division in southern Somalia still continues after more than six months of negotiations to elect local authorities to govern the regions of Gedo, Middle and Lower Juba.

On Wednesday, 495 delegates meeting in Kismayo elected Ras Kamboni militia leader Ahmed Madobe as the president of Jubaland, over four other candidates.

But another former warlord, Barre Hirale, who controlled Kismayo for close to nine years, has said he was elected at a separate conference of elders.

“In a conference, which was going on for some time, I was elected as the president of Jubaland,” said Hirale. "In that conference 600 delegates attended and 500 voted for me. Because of that I have become the president of Jubaland.”

Returning warlord

Hirale was chased out of Kismayo by al-Shabab militants - when Ahmed Madobe was a top commander in the group. He returned to Kismayo last month by sea with dozens of loyal soldiers.

Abdi Mohamed Yarow is an elder with the Hawiye clan, which is in the minority in Kismayo. He was present at the swearing-in ceremony and told VOA the elders had appointed Hirale as their president.
 
 “Today we were at the swearing-in ceremony of the president of Jubaland state Barre Hirale,' Yarow said. "We have decided to make him [Madobe] our president and we have just done that, he is the president of Jubaland.”

Some sections of the Somali population have expressed concerns over the recent threats of violence in the city and its environs concerning this dispute over who should be president.

Seeking solutions

Ahmed Soliman, Horn of Africa researcher at Chatham House, a foreign policy institute in London, said to avoid a return of violence in the region, both militias from the two rival camps need to be integrated into the Somali national army.
 
“What we are talking about is eventually, militia being reintegrated into Somali national force. That’s a way of stemming potential conflict in the future, but it very much has to come off the back of political process and I do see political process is in complete and it would continue,” said Soliman.

He also said that after months of negotiations, people can’t be too impatient. Soliman noted the process will take time, and he said that expressing fears is not the right way forward.

“I think there is need to take time, and to asses and to negotiate properly with all the stakeholders. It does seem to me there are a lot of stakeholders involved, and that’s a good thing, and that means it takes longer to achieve consensus,” he said.

The government in Mogadishu has expressed concerns about the roles played in Jubaland by some stakeholders, particularly by the Kenyan government. Kenya has been accused of backing the Ras Kamboni leader, Ahmed Madobe, who helped Kenyan forces to liberate Kismayo last year.

The Somali federal government has refused to recognize any leadership appointments in Jubaland, deeming the process unconstitutional.

A sixteen-member committee appointed by the prime minister to look into the Jubaland issue arrived Thursday in Kismayo.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

update Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
May 16, 2013 10:24 PM
Somalis have proved over and over again that they are unable to negotiate peacefully among themselves and put aside their differences for the good of their own people. Barre Hirale and Ahmed Madobe are thuggish, murderers and vicious criminals.These gangsters ought to be stopped and punished by the world communities.
Poor Somalia will remain a perfect failed state for a long time to come.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More