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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs