Somalia: Jubaland accuses Ethiopian soldiers of secret plot to overthrow Madobe
KISMAYO, Somalia - The already deteriorating relationship between Jubaland and the Federal Government of Somalia could further escalate, with the United Nations now drawn into the standoff, Garowe Online reports.
In a letter dated 14th November, Jubaland administration wants UN special envoy to Somalia to immediately intervene and block Ethiopia from interfering with internal affairs of the state.
Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), Jubaland leadership says, has been working in cohorts with FGS to paralyze operations in Kismayo with an aim of ousting Sheikh Ahmed Madobe.
The Non-AMISOM ENDF reads the letter to James Swan, seized three District Commissioners and a member of the Jubaland Electoral Commission with an aim of forcing them to surrender jurisdictional authority.
"We are writing to you to draw your attention to illegal intervention by non-AMISOM Ethiopian troops in the northern part of the Gedo region," reads the letter.
"The illegal intervention of the forces at the behest of and in collision with FGS is already impacting on security, political stability, and unity of Jubaland."
According to Jubaland authorities, the latest attempts to flex muscle with Kismayo leadership could have long term negative ripple effect on organizational security and general administration.
The presence of Non-AMISOM ENDF, Jubaland authorities claim, have already started precipitating the disintegration of Jubaland security forces, a move that could give ground to Al-Shabaab militants.
"Antagonistic impact on the security is immediately evident as a result of this blatant disregard of territorial integrity of Somalia by non-AMISOM Ethiopian forces and violation of Somalia's provisional constitution," the authorities said.
"The Jubaland security in Northern Gedo has started to disintegrate and lose cohesion, and are likely to turn into clan militia," Madobe's administration stated, calling for immediate intervention.
Al-Shabaab militants have been battling to control the Gedo region, following the withdrawal of KDF troops in 2017. A year earlier, over 200 KDF soldiers were killed at El Adde in the Gedo region.
It's beyond the norms of international law and AMISOM troops contributing countries to facilitate illegal negotiations between district commissioners under a functioning state government and senior intelligence officials from FGS to pursue their political agenda, the letter said.
The November 4th incident by the Non-AMISOM Ethiopian troops with the aid of FGS is aimed at transferring the command of Jubaland security forces in Gedo region to FGS, announce that Gedo region has seceded from Jubaland, rebuke the recent elections of Jubaland and host a parallel repeat election in Jubaland.
In August, Sheikh Madobe has announced the winner of regional presidential elections albeit controversially. President Mohamed Farmajo refused to recognize the victory, accusing Kenya of imposing Madobe on people of Jubaland.
On Thursday in Nairobi, Farmajo told Somalis living in Nairobi that regional presidents have been working with foreign countries to undermine his government.
“The federal states have got presidents, they are looking powers like the one of the central government, they want to form their military and constitution. If you don’t get along with them, they can be used by other states to fight the government,” Farmaajo said.
Before Madobe's inauguration, FGS imposed a travel ban to Kismayo, forcing the Jubaland leader to postpone the ceremony for some weeks. The event could later take place.
The former leader of Ras Kamboni Brigade enjoys the backing of Kenya, a reason why National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale attended his inauguration.
“Kenya’s interest in Jubbaland is underpinned by our national security and that of the East African region,” Duale said even as he challenged Jubbaland to explore close ties with the Federal government and the other Federal States.
The latest standoff between Jubaland, FGS and Ethiopia reignites dark memories of December 2018 when the Non-AMISOM ENDF arrested former Al-Shabaab spokesman Mukhtar Robow, who had announced candidature in South West state.
United Nations could act swiftly, given the long-term objectives of restoring peace and stability in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has been earmarked as a threat to stability in the Horn of Africa nation.