KISMAYO, Somalia – Somalia’s federal government has once again been criticized after the latest spam attack on the Somali National Army expulsion [SNA] troops in the troubled Gedo region, which has been a battlefield for endless crushes between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Ahmed Madobe.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the Kismayo authorities, the Mogadishu administration has been charged with divisions between the Gedo clans in northern Jubaland, threatening the integration of communities into the region.
While he cited Gedna’s SNA expeditions as “illegal interference”, Ahmed Madobe’s administration also blamed the federal government for driving uncertainty in the region, adding that “this is totally unacceptable and will be resisted”.
“The illegal interference of the region by the FGS has resulted in political unrest and uncertainty. This causes significantly unnecessary divisions within a community that lives in peace and must be resisted,” read part of the statement from the state.
Madobe’s administration continues to intervene in Jubaland’s internal affairs, “is part of Mogadishu’s retrogressive strategy to destabilize regional member states for political advantage”. The move, it added, “is not a working solution to much-needed peace in Somalia”.
Since August last year, both parties have not yet seen eye to eye, but most of their direct differences have been manifested in various measures that have attracted international retaliation, including the deployment of SNA troops in Gedo.
The increased political activity in the region has caused ripples within the internal administration of the Madobe government, a move manifested in the latest action by a deputy minister to appoint Gedo governor, loyal to the Mogadishu administration.
Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein, Deputy Interior Minister, was nominated by the recent takeover of Doolow and Balad-Hawo, appointing Osman Nur Haji Maalimu as Gedo Governor contrary to the expectations of President Madobe, his boss and a harsh critic of Farmajo.
The newly appointed governor promised to work diligently by “chasing” officials loyal to Madobe, adding that “this is a territory in Somalia, we must respect our appointing authority in Mogadishu, we are not separatists and those with such detached intentions shall treated with”.
But in the statement, the Jubaland administration called the appointments “illegal” and added that “the regional government does not recognize such unprocessual appointments”. Gedo is inhabited by the Farmajos clan, ie FGS, to use it as a weapon against Madobe, an Ogaden.
Two weeks ago, a former Garbaharey district commissioner in Gedo was arrested and flew to Mogadishu by special forces from Danab, moments after he refused to hand over a new administrator sent to the region.
At the beginning of the week, SNA troops in Gedo accused KDF of “bombarding our people blurry” in a rare junk attack against Kenyans and vowed to take a “revenge” if the alleged bombings in Gedo were to continue.
The region lies under the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] troops under AMISOM with also the presence of Ethiopian national defense forces [ENDF]. KDF is said to have conducted operations in parts of Gedo that targeted Al-Shabaab militants in violation of SNA’s claims.
But the interesting part is that the crisis in Gedo has thrown the UN into a unique limbo, given that the KDF team supports the Jubaland administration while the Ethiopian counterparts have helped the federal government to recover Gedo.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday told the UN Security Council that he was “deeply disturbed” by the recent conflicts with SNA troops and Jubilee forces in Gedo, adding that “this threatens to erode gains we have made so far “.
The UN chief challenged both sides to “exercise restraint” and allow a “genuine” dialogue between the FGS and the Jubaland authorities for the sake of peace. He hailed a recently signed peace agreement between Madobe and his regional critics as “indispensable” for the much needed peace.
His statement comes just two days after a group of four opposition factions questioned the existence of non-AMISOM troops in Gedo, calling the actions “a powerful occupation” in a letter copied to the UN Parliament, the Somali Parliament and other international players.
Surprisingly, the opposition group under former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed also dismissed the AU envoy to Somalia Francisco Madeira as “grossly incompetent” and demanded “immediate compensation” to save the situation on the Horn of Africa.
Madobe was declared the winner of the polls in August 2019, albeit controversial, but he has since buried the gap with his competitors. But Farmajo is said to be hell bent on getting him expelled for a “friendly” replacement, which has led to the current political relationship in Gedo.