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Peace: Why Jubaland polls is matter of concern to Kenya

Friday, August 9th, 2019 00:00 | By
President Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Madobe.

The leading doctrine of political legitimacy is pegged on a social contract that citizens enter into when they willingly surrender their freedom to rule themselves and submit to a governing authority in exchange for protection of their rights and the maintenance of political and social order.

In the absence or the abuse of this social contract the state of a nation and the life of a people become nasty, brutish and short. 

As Jubaland is headed for the polls in a few weeks, it is in order for us as a neighbouring country to celebrate their willingness and resilience to enter into and maintain this social contract through a democratic process. 

The success of this process is crucial to us and to the entire horn of Africa as it has a ripple effect on our political and social order as well. It goes without saying that the stability of our region has been challenged by the presence of the al Shabaab militant group.

Our eyes are therefore on Jubaland, as the outcome of this forthcoming election is crucial for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa which has over the years experienced turbulent times especially arising from terrorist attacks. 

Our relationship with Jubaland cannot be over emphasised. Apart from sharing a border, the country remains a strategic partner in the war against terror. 

The incumbent, Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed, popularly known as Madobe, is seeking re-election in the August polls. President Madobe has over the past seven years been instrumental in the fight against terror. 

Kenya considers him as a sincere partner in this war; in 2012 he supported the Kenya Defense Force as they phased out al Shabab in Kismayu. He is seen as an ally and a regional figure who represents law and order.

His re-election will therefore be considered as a plus and a guarantee to sustainable peace not only in Jubaland but also in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia which have suffered terrorist attacks and the challenge of youth radicalisation by the al Shabaab militant group. 

Even though President Madobe faces eight other opponents, he enjoys the support of the clan elders, who have endorsed him to run again. This endorsement is a powerful statement that confers great confidence in his re-election campaign. 

His countrymen see him as a beacon of hope for victory in the fight against terror. But again this is not to suggest a free passage for President Madobe alias ‘Blackie’. 

The stakes in this election are high as Jubaland seeks to maintain their political and social order and other nations — ours included — are watching as a hawk as they seek to protect their interests and establish and maintain their own political and social order in this governing process. The writer is a communications strategist and lecturer at Kenyatta University. —[email protected]

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