Jubaland President signs power sharing deal with rivals
Jubaland President Ahmed Mohamed Islam alias Madobe has signed a power sharing deal with his rivals to bring to an end long-lasting dispute following a disputed presidential elections.
The pact signals a new dawn for the Somali’s semi-autonomous region which has been reeling from the effects of Al-shabaab insurgents.
Deal Reached in Kenya Capital, Nairobi
President Madobe’s opponents including Abdinasir Seraar, Sheikh Dahir and Abdirashid Hiddig inked the deal on Thursday following three-week long talks in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Three had rejected Madobe re-election to office citing massive intimidation, bribery and rigging in the 2019 polls.
On Thursday, Madobe announced from Nairobi, they had reached a ‘historic’ agreement with rivals who had last year formed a parallel administration to undercut him.
Madobe and his opponents known as the Jubbaland Council for Change said they recognize Madobe’s election last year in August and promised to work together for the benefit of the people Jubaland.
They also said they would form a ‘quality coalition government’ to administer the Somali federal state, including working together to fight Al-Shabaab.
“The two parties, while taking into consideration the tough and challenging times facing Jubaland, fully acknowledged the urgent need to settle the political dispute and reach a political agreement through dialogue and concession,” the agreement notes.
“Leaders representing both sides have unanimously agreed to work towards strengthening unity, and social cohesion of the people of Jubaland and resolve all matters of concern or conflict through consultations through of dialogue.”
In return, Madobe has promised to form a government of national unity with representatives from all regions of Jubaland with opposition being the integral part of the government.
In what would surprise Madobe’s supports, the agreement says, he will not be seeking for a third term in office effectively ending his reign as regional leader, albeit on paper. He was elected to office in 2013.
The deal was brokered by the Kenyan government and facilitated by Puntland State President Said Abdullahi Deni.
Since, his re-election, Madobe has been struggling to contain his opponents especially Abdinasir Seeraar and Abdirashid Hidigg.
Seraar, who was with Madobe in the Ras Kamboni Brigade, the militia that worked with KDF to rout Al-Shabaab in Kismayu in 2012. He now runs a separate militia group.
His opponents were seen as stooges by Federal Government of Somalia which has not been comfortable with Madobe's leadership.
Since his re-election in August 2019, Madobe has faced sustained attacks from Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who has refused to recognize the victory.
No Appointed Cabinet
To date, Madobe has not yet appointed a substantial cabinet.
Critics of Madobe have dismissed the deal saying Kenya paid for and forced the agreement and Kismayo, “the city that all four signatories co-control”.
“Congratulations! If the two alone can solve the constitutional impasse in the Jubaland of 14 cities and 27 clans,” Adaw Hirsi, a former Cabinet Minister in Madobe’s government and the current Policy advisor for Somali Prime Minister, wrote on Twitter.
On his part former national assembly deputy Speaker Farah Maalim noted none of the four signatories has any legitimacy in Jubaland as they all come from Somali State Ethiopia.
“Only the indigenous bona fide residents of Jubaland can determine the future of that Region. Foreigners signing a pact in a foreign country regarding a sovereign entity,” Maalim wrote on Twitter.
On his part, Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, researcher and African Affairs commentator, observed the truce between Kismayu’s chief Madobe and his three ex-rivals in Nairobi will have no political significance in Somalia.
“In fact, it may hasten Madobe's downfall.
President Farmajo won this round handily, while in his dosshouse. God-sent coup de maître?,” he wrote.
On his part, Hussein Ali termed the deal as a job contact signed by three new recruits to help Ahmed for Kenya and UAE assignments.
For most of January and February this year, Madobe spent time in Nairobi, negotiating the truce.
Kenya has been accused by Somalia of “interfering” with its internal affairs, since Nairobi has acknowledged Madobe’s victory.
During her inauguration in September 2019, Kenya dispatched a delegation under the leadership of the majority leader of the National Assembly, Aden Duale.
Jubaland is used as a buffer zone by KDF troops in the fight against Al-Shabaab. Kenyan troops serve in Sectors II and III, mainly in Jubaland, where they have successfully eliminated militants from Al-Shabaab.