MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – President of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Jubaland Ahmed Madobe described government troops in Gedo region as “guerillas under the command of intelligence officials” and called for them to be pulled out from the region ahead of elections.
Mr Madobe speaking at the opening ceremony of Somalia partnership forum said Gedo is one of two regions in Jubaland designated for elections to be held and the presence of federal troops would disrupt the electoral process.
“Issue a statement and say we conquered Gedo [region],” said Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe, adding that the federal government should make clear who has right to run elections in the region.
The regional leader had launched a stinging attack on the current administration last week and accused the federal government of reneging on previous deal reached with regional states to consciously delay elections, but his speech triggered a new diplomatic row between Kenya and Somalia with Mogadishu accusing Nairobi of coercing Ahmed Madobe to disrupt upcoming nationwide elections.
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble speaking at Somalia partnership forum shortly after Jubaland leader’s speech, urged Ahmed Madobe to apologize for describing national troops as “guerillas”.
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