Somalia: Bay and Bakool communities prepare for southwestern convention

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Garowe Online

Bay regional capital of Baidoa is likely to host a huge convention aimed at forming Southwestern State of Somalia as intellectuals and academics hailing from Bay and Bakool regions have been arriving in the town, Garowe Online reports.

The convention which is intended to build Southwestern State administration was called by tradition elders and the organizers urged Bay and Bakool parliamentarians and other Federal Government officials to join the upcoming convention.

“A convention is underway to establish a new administration here in Baidoa and we invited Digil and Mirifle politicians including Federal MPs and Ministers to Push Bay and Bakool local communities into an autonomy,” said Ali Shino, a spokesman for the organizers.

Speaking about the relations between Federal Government of Somalia and Bay and Bakool communities, he told that they are dissatisfied with the way their President is monopolizing the power and that they withdrew support from the Somali Federal Government.

Demands for local autonomy have been outstanding issue since 2002 when the leader of Formerly Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) Hassan Mohamed Nur Shatigadud declared a phantom state named Southwestern State of Somalia.

Hundreds hoisting banners that read, “Hassan Sheikh is not our President” took to the streets in Baidoa last Saturday.