Somalia: Jubaland gains support, as federal gov’t rejects outcome

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Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islam takes oath of office as Jubaland President May 15 2013Somalilandsun – Somalis abroad and at home have been expressing their support for the new Jubaland state President elect Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed (Madoobe) as a Somali Federal Government (SFG) Minister rejected the elections, Garowe Online reports.

Somalis from Puntland, southern Somalia, Somaliland and ones living abroad have sent their congratulations to the newly elected President of Jubaland state, Sheikh Madoobe, who won the elections held in the port city of Kismayo in a landslide victory on Wednesday. He won 480 votes out of the 500 delegates, who were tasked with the state formation process of Jubaland – backed by IGAD – that has been ongoing since 2011.

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole held a press conference welcoming the election of Sheikh Madoobe. President Farole requested that the presidential candidates welcome the outcome and that the elections were in line with the Provisional Federal Constitution.

In an event in Garowe on Thursday, women from all walks of life met at the Puntland Development and Research Center (PDRC) to welcome the elections and the completion of the state building process that was running for over a year.

Minister of Women and Family Affairs Halimo Haji Hassan, State Minister of Security Col. Abdullahi Jama Ali and State Minister of Good Governance Mohamed Farah Gashaan and various women groups sent congratulations to the residents of Gedo, Lower and Middle Jubba – the three regions that make up Jubaland.

President of Ethiopia’s Somali region Abdi Mohamoud Omar welcomed in a press release the election and stated that his government would support the new state.

According to local sources in Jijiga – the capital of the Somali region in Ethiopia – after the elections residents reportedly celebrated late into the night.

In Afmadow in the Lower Jubba region, residents paraded the main streets celebrating the birth of the second federal state in Somalia.

SFG Interior reject Jubaland state election

Despite the celebrations, the SFG rejected the state formation of Jubaland and the election of President Sheikh Ahmed Madoobe. SFG Minister of Interior Abdikarim Hussein Guled stated that Wednesday’s election wasn’t going to change the SFG’s stance on the state.

“We have heard via media that an administration was declared in Kismayo today. One message is clear; We will not recognize that administration,” Minister Abdikarim tweeted on Wednesday.

The Minister stated to media that the elections violated the Provisional Federal Constitution and would therefore not be accepted. He also asked that Kenya play a neutral role in the region.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon appointed a 16 member committee legislated with “working on a solution for Jubaland”, after the previous committee were unsuccessful. Regarding the committee who is in Kismayo that have yet to meet Jubaland officials, Minister Abdikarim tweeted, “We have ordered the committee sent to Kismayo to be back soon, so [Somali Federal] government will take its decision. A militia group can not dominate Kismayo.”

Shortly after the elections the SFG’s Minister of Interior and Security warned of conflict in the region. Subsequently President Sheikh Madoobe tightened security in the port city of Kismayo and the region and advised the SFG to not conceive conflicts that weren’t existent.

Former Kismayo warlord Adan Barre Hiiraale stated on BBC Somali that he was elected as President of Jubaland in a separate conference. According to local sources, there was no media coverage of the conference or an election.

Sources close to the SFG tell GO that elements in Mogadishu have been funding and supporting Barre Hiiraale to help “dismantle” Jubaland state.

Security in the port city of Kismayo has been tightened and according to residents will likely be tightened for the next coming days.

SFG President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud elected last September has firmly stood against the formation of Jubaland and has demanded that the SFG chair the formation of states in Somalia.

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