Somalia army’s presence in Gedo destabilizes region, says Jubaland Leader

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – President of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Jubaland Ahmed Madobe, presiding over a cabinet meeting on Thursday, said Somali army’s presence in Gedo had destabilized the region.

Speaking to ministers at the meeting about the current situation in the restive southern Somalia region, Ahmed Madobe noted that the presence of federal troops in Gedo turned regional stability to chaos and began looting residents in several towns across the region.

Jubaland president gave no evidence for the allegations and the federal government had ealier accused his administration of perpetrating atrocities against humanity in the region before troops drove militias loyal to Ahmed Madobe from key towns in Gedo.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a stalemate over electoral and dispute resolution commissions appointed by the federal government, and now Jubaland leader says his region has right to establish its own electoral commission without interference from federal authorities. He added that they were keen to participate in the upcoming elections.

Ahmed Madobe commended regional Ministry of Interior for establishing the first municipality in the town of Afmadow and described the move as a good start that other cities in the state would follow suit.

Dispute over who should control Gedo region has been deepening with relations between the regional state and federal authorities already strained, it is feared that the stalemate may disrupt upcoming elections.

Regional leader accused the federal government of reneging an earlier deal signed with regional states that required federal troops to be pulled out from Gedo and hold election on its due date. His speech triggered the expulsion of Kenyan ambassador in Mogadishu over what Somali government termed as Kenya’s interference in the country’s internal affairs and coercion of Jubaland leader into delaying elections to cause a political mayhem.

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