KISMAYO, Somalia Feb 28 2013 (Garowe Online) – The Jubaland
state conference officially convened in the port city of Kismayo on Thursday,
and interim Kismayo administration leader, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islaan (Madoobe)
spoke to Somali media about the much anticipated conference, Garowe Online
More than 500 delegates attended the opening of the Jubaland
state formation conference in Kismayo on Thursday, where they discussed the
schedule of the conference and issues that will be discussed over the coming days.
Sheikh Ahmed Madoobe – a frontrunner for leader of Jubaland state
– spoke to Somali media after the opening of the conference about different
issues regarding the absence of some delegates from Gedo region – one of the
three regions that make up Jubaland state.
“Around 700 people were present at the conference when you
include staff and others. However some delegates still haven’t arrived and are expected
to arrive in the coming days,” said Madoobe, adding, “all regions and clans
were represented however some district leaders missed the opening.”
The Jubaland state process is a community led process – backed
by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – that includes the
regions of Gedo, Lower and Middle Jubba.
Madoobe also spoke of the absence of the Somali Federal
Government (SFG) who earlier this week requested that the state formation
conference be held in Mogadishu.
“The SFG’s absence is a constraint and we would like and are
awaiting the SFG to play a role. We would like the SFG to be aware of the
conference, guide the conference, and resolve any problems within the
conference. The SFG has a vital role to play in building Jubaland,” said
When asked how long
the conference was scheduled for, Madoobe answered that he couldn’t say but
would like the conference to run until officials from the SFG take part.
SFG Minister of Interior Abdikarim Hassan Guled stated on
Twitter that “no clan or armed group can have the decision of creating admin to
a great town like Kismayo.”
The SFG have been opposed to the state formation process led
by Sheikh Ahmed Madoobe who is the longtime chief of the Raskamboni militia –
that played a vital role in liberating Gedo,
and the Jubbas – despite the process being initiated before the SFG was formed
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has directly opposed the
formation of Jubaland state, and has gone on the record insisting that a
governor be chosen for the region from the SFG, despite the current state
formation process’ legality under the Somali Federal Constitution.