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Somalia's opposition blames Farmajo for destabilizing Gedo

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Forum for National Parties [FNP] has accused President Mohamed Abdullahi alias [Farmajo] of engineering Gedo region crisis, a move that could set the pace for a protracted political quagmire.

Gedo conflict has threatened to scuttle gains made in the war against Al-Shabaab, which has caused havoc within East Africa for a decade now.

The Federal Government of Somalia [FGS] has deployed over 700 Turkish-trained SNA contingent to Gedo, with authorities saying that "they will increase surveillance along the border" for the interest of Somalia.

But in a rejoinder, Jubaland state, which has been at loggerheads with Mogadishu-based Somali government, threatened to retaliate against "naked aggression" by the FGS.

In a statement on Saturday, FNP joined forces with Jubaland administration, questioning the intention of stationing troops in the strategic troubled region.

"The decision by Farmajo to deploy SNA troops to Gedo was uncalled for. It was not a well-thought idea," the statement read in part.

Saturday's statement was the first major retribution against Farmajo over Gedo stalemate, with FNP also dragging spy chief Fahad Yasin's name to the standoff.

"Fahad Yasin has destroyed army structure and has often used troops for political purposes," FNP added, without divulging to finer details.

Mr. Yasin, a former Al-Jazeera Arabic journalist and President Farmajo's right-hand man has often been accused of misusing SNA troops by dragging them into politics.

FNP is a coalition of six parties is led by former Presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Farmajo, the coalition said, has been using Ethiopian non-AMISOM troops in the country to seize the Gedo region, despite the area falling under the jurisdiction of Jubaland state.

The opposition alliance said: "It's mesmerizing that Farmajo is using Ethiopian non-AMISOM troops to seize Gedo besides using military equipment donated by Qatar to support the Somali National Army [SNA]."

Already, the SNA troops have taken over Balad-Hawo and Dolow districts, although no major fighting was reported between the state and Jubaland troops.

Somalia has often accused Kenya of backing Jubaland administration's defiance, warning that "such activities meant to undermine authorities are unacceptable".

There were claims that KDF had ferried embattled Jubaland security minister Abdirashid Janan to Gedo, despite having escaped from a detention camp. 

Gedo conflict could cause fallout within AMISOM forces, given that both Kenya and Ethiopia have taken an opposing position, analysts warn.

But Stephen Townsend, the AFRICOM commander, hailed Kenya's contributions in rebuilding Somalia, during his unprecedented visit last week.

“Kenya’s extended contributions and commitment to AMISOM not only reflect their dedication to their own defense but to the collective defense of their neighbors as well," said Townsend.

Tensions still remain high in Gedo, although President Ahmed Islam [Ahmed Madobe] is yet to visit the region, where he enjoys substantive support from local comunnity.


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