News / Africa

Politics Hinders Capture of Somalia's Kismayo

A Somali government soldier holds his weapon in the port of El-Ma'an a few hours after Somali and African Union forces ousted al-Shabab fighters from the area 32km northeast of Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 4, 2012. Elsewhere, the Kenyan Navy shelled Somalia's port town of Kismayo, the remaining stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked militants, in preparation for ground forces to capture the town.
A Somali government soldier holds his weapon in the port of El-Ma'an a few hours after Somali and African Union forces ousted al-Shabab fighters from the area 32km northeast of Mogadishu, Somalia, Sept. 4, 2012. Elsewhere, the Kenyan Navy shelled Somalia's port town of Kismayo, the remaining stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked militants, in preparation for ground forces to capture the town.
NAIROBI, Kenya — For months, the media have used words like “looming” and “imminent” to describe a long-anticipated, concerted military assault on Somalia's coastal city of Kismayo, the last remaining stronghold of militant group al-Shabab, and the financial hub for its operation. 

Somali government forces and African Union (AU) troops are currently positioned in Miido, a village 80 kilometers west of Kismayo. But clan rivalry and political wrangling my be hindering operations to capture the city, analysts say.

The AU force in Somalia, known as AMISOM, has repeatedly expressed plans to liberate the city from the insurgents and Kenyan and Ethiopian troops have also been approaching the city.

Abdirashid Hashi, of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, notes ground troops can move in if there is a political mechanism in place.

“I think the number one reason is a political issue, Hashi said. "I think if they don’t have a consensus amongst those actors and stake holders, I think it could backfire, it could create a problem for African Union forces.  So I think its very important to have some sort of political understanding, what will happen next, the morning after they got to Kismayo."

On the political front, sources familiar with political talks going on behind the scenes say that one of the key issues major clans agree on is to make Kismayo a business city, but not the capital of a proposed new state in and around Kismayo called Jubaland.  

But where should the capital of Jubaland will be?  

Members of the Marehan clan are suggesting Bardhere in the Gedo region and members of the Ogaden clan want Buale to be the capital.

Ahmed Madobe the head of the Ras Kamboni faction, aligned with the government forces and AU troops in their fight against al-Shabab, says his group wants to see an inclusive federal state no matter where the capital is located.

He says in the political meetings they want to move away from clan divisions and want people to identify themselves with the regions, cities, districts and villages they hail from and not to identify themselves with their clans.

Jubaland would consist of three regions, Gedo, Middle and Lower Juba.  The three regions consist of 15 districts.  How to share the positions and what clan should get what territory is another problem.

Abdirashid Hashi says there is the need to organize some sort of temporary administration to govern Kismayo itself before the city is taken.
 
“They shouldn’t go to Kismayo unless they have a plan who will administer the city and who will provide service to the people," he said.  "They need services and its very important.  You know this is not fighting over spoils of war; these are human beings, they have needs.”

Hashi also stressed that the national government has to be involved in the process so that people stop saying this is a foreign process led by Kenya and Ethiopia.

Somalia is in the process of ending an eight-year political transition to establish the first stable central government since 1991.  The government already has its hands full negotiating power between the various federal states that make up Somalia, which may one day include Jubaland.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jareer
September 08, 2012 3:42 PM
Gedo, Middle Juba and Lower Juba are all ethnically Bantu dominated regions. The pastoralist Marhehan and the Ogaden clan leaders are just warlords looking to foricibly exploit the farming Bantu people and their productive agricultural land in these regions. Should any ethnic group beside the Bantu take control of "Jubaland" after the departure of AlShabaab,we can predict that other pastoralist clan warlords - probably from the Darood and Hawiye clans - will violently compete for this area. This violent competition between the pastoralist clan warlords for southern Somalia's farming regions started right after the fall of Siad Barre and continued with the Juba Valley Alliance, the Islamic Courts Union, and now Al Shabaab. These so-called Ogaden and Marhehan political leaders are merely the next wave of Somali pastoralist warlords seeking to illegally sieze control of Bantu lands.

In Response

by: Darod King from: USA
September 25, 2012 2:30 AM
The Bantu Minority that use to live in jubaland have being relocated to Mozambique and the USA ,they are welcome to comment on the news that regard jubaland state online but that's all they are allowed to do so

In Response

by: Somali Jareer from: USA
September 11, 2012 9:24 AM
Gedo, Middle Juba and Lower Juba are all Somali lands and every Somali is entitled to live there. This area is rich enough and large enough for all those who want to settle there. The inhabitants of these areas are traditionally peaceful farmers. We can come to a political solutions without resorting to violence. The country is ready for that. The people are ready for that. May peace reign in Somaila.

In Response

by: Somali
September 09, 2012 11:12 AM
"Jareer," you're out of your mind if you think those regions are Bantu lands. Extraordinary claims need Extraordinary proof.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid