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Somalia: Jubaland minister resigns as Gedo residents celebrate Janan's escape

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
Adam Aw Hirsi, the Jubaland Planning and International Cooperation Minister resigned Friday

KISMAYO, Somalia - Jubaland minister has resigned from the state, shortly after his fugitive colleague arrived in Kismayo by boat on Friday, five months after his detention in Mogadishu.

In outright defiance to his employer, Adam Aw Hirsi, the Jubaland Planning and International Cooperation Minister resigned saying "I can't be part of an administration that harbors fugitives".

Hirsi quit shortly after security minister Abdirashid Hassan, arrived by boat in Kismayo, five months after his arrest and subsequent detention by Somalia's Federal Government in Mogadishu.

The resignation comes amid strained relations between Jubaland and Somali Federal Government following Ahmed Madobe's re-election in August 2019.

Why Hirsi resigned from government

"Effective today, I’ve resigned from my docket as the Minister of @MoPICJubaland of @Jubaland," tweeted Hirsi, a vocal politician in Somalia.

He added: "Conscience does not allow me to be a part of an administration that celebrates, harbors a fugitive accused of human rights violations."

Janan arrived in Kismayo on the boat shortly after midday on Friday, exactly three days after his mysterious escape from detention, Jubaland TV reported.

In reference to President Madobe, Hirsi, also said: "I thank my former boss for the privilege to serve"

How Abdirashid escaped from detention

Zakia Hussein, the deputy police commander, on Tuesday, said Abdirashid had escaped from detention, adding that "security forces are pursuing him".

At the detention, sources said, he had only spent five days awaiting questioning. He used a narrow window for his escape, officials said.

While in detention, a source told Garowe Online, Abdirashid "paid soldiers who were guarding him before escaping through the Indian Ocean".

Some of the soldiers, the source added, had accompanied him to Kismayo, a move that could spark fresh intrigues between FGS and Jubaland.

Jubaland welcomes Abdirashid back

Jubaland had on Tuesday demanded to know Abdirashid Janan's whereabouts, blaming the federal government of "mischievous excuses to kill our official".

To nab him from alleged hideouts, security was beefed up at Aden Adde International Airport and Gedo airstrips to monitor movements, police said.

Abshir Mohamed, Jubaland Chief of Staff, was among top officials who hailed Abdirashid's return, terming his detention "illegal".

He tweeted: "After five months of illegal detention by FGS, Jubaland Security Minister, Abdirashid Hassan is safely back home in Kismayo."

But his escape from detention will obviously escalate already strained relationship between Villa Somalia and Jubaland, analysts have warned.

Hirsi and Abdirashid standoff

Hirsi's resignation proves infiltration of the federal government in Jubaland administration, whose working relationship has hit a bottom low since August last year.

In December, Jubaland wrote to Ethiopian PM Ahmed Abiy, accusing his troops of "working with FGS to undermine our sovereignty".

Some parts of the Gedo region have been reported under Ethiopian non-AMISOM troops, causing anxiety in the fragile state that is also fighting Al-Shabaab infiltration.

Curiously, since the re-election of Madobe, Mr. Hirsi has not stopped to Kismayo, further raising questions about his loyalty to the administration.

Evidently, his tweets have also been in open defiance to his employers, to some extent siding with Villa Somalia, an indication of his calculated move to shift allegiance.

Both Hirsi and Abdirashid hail from the Gedo region, where the current unfolding events may have an ultimate scramble for power and supremacy battles.

Gedo residents celebrate his freedom

After Abdirashid's arrival in Kismayo, thousands of Gedo residents thronged to streets, chanting anti-FGS slogans, a further indication of a looming political storm.

Some of the towns that witnessed celebrations include Dollow and Buulohawo, where Abdirashid enjoys unequivocal support.

Incidentally, these are the same regions that have traditionally backed Madobe, thus the closeness between the two leaders.

Moments after his arrest at Aden Adde International Airport, sources said, clan elders engaged President Mohamed Farmajo in negotiations to secure his release.

But the negotiations, sources added, only managed to have him released from jail for house arrest, where he managed to escape from.

The two hail from the same clan, thus the negotiations between elders and Villa Somalia, over his unprecedented incarceration, reports indicate.

Despite his huge following in Gedo, Abdirashid has been accused of perpetrating mass murders and genocide, causing an outcry among the international community.


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