SOMALIA: UN warns of violence over Somalia leader

President of Southwestern State of Somalia Mr. Madoobe Nuunow Mohamed "I am not a warlord"
President of Southwestern State of Somalia Mr. Madoobe Nuunow Mohamed “I am not a warlord”

The UN, African Union envoys and the Somalia government are warning about possible eruption of violence in six southwestern regions of Somalia after clan elders last week unilaterally anointed a new leader for these areas.

The establishment of the Southwestern State — which covers regions that fall under another state recognised by Mogadishu — highlights governance challenges facing the Horn of Africa nation.

The Somali government has rejected the new state, a position also held by the UN and the AU.

“The likelihood for rival leadership emerging with the potential to cause conflict and undermine the government and Amisom military expansion and stabilisation activities is real,” the AU envoy for Somalia, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, said.

UN envoy Nicholas Kay has also urged “all parties to observe maximum restraint and refrain from any action that could pose a threat to security.”

The new Southwestern state leader, Madobe Nunow Mohamed, has downplayed such concerns, saying he is not a “warlord.” He dismissed as “a premature reaction,” the opposition to his appointment by clan elders.

“I am a hundred per cent certain that the wishes of the people will be realised,” he said.

The disagreement over the Baidoa-headquartered state is a part of a larger debate within Somalia on the viability and practicality of federalism as a mode of governance and on Mogadishu’s role in a system that has so far led to clan-based entities, with no clear boundaries.

Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, a Nairobi-based Horn of Africa analyst, argues that federalism in Somalia “is a wrong ideology, at the wrong time, practised by wrong leaders for the wrong people.”

The provincial constitution allows inhabitants of two or more regions to form a federal state in a country “founded on inclusive representation of the people, a multiparty system and social justice.”

For many Somalis a unitary system is synonymous with dictatorship, a feeling fuelled by past marginalisation grievances, centralised services and resource abuses.

Although the national government does not openly object to the establishment of regional states, many Somalis suspect its reluctance to play a lead role is compounding the situation.

For instance, the government has initially opposed the Jubbaland administration led by Ahmed Mohamed Islam. It even tacitly supported a rival leader, Barre Aden Shire, who declared himself president of Jubbaland.

“The situation in Baidoa highlights the need for the Federal Government to accelerate its work on the state-building process in Somalia,” said Mr Kay.

Source: The East African

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is unfortunately that Somali people have gone through disarray situations throughout many years and that has created gabs and spaces in which others came in to involve its internal affairs.

    However, despite the Somalia people’s decision for going self-governing states under a Central Federal Government, at the sometime, their unit, the cooperation, knowing that they are one people, one country will always remind and will ring the bell too.

  2. It is unfortunately that Somali people have gone through disarray situations throughout many years and that has created gabs and spaces in which others came in to involve its internal affairs.

    However, despite the Somalia people’s decision for going self-governing states under of a Central Federal Government, at the sometime, their unit, the cooperation, knowing that they are one people, one country will always remind and will ring the bell too.

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