Jubaland: An Institutionalized land robbing


Ahmed Yusuf Omar

The parliament of Jubaland state was inaugurated on April 14, 2015 in Kismayo and as expected Mr. Ahmed Madoobe has not dared to make it inclusive, but turned the parliament into an exclusive club of his own clan. The Ogaden clan became the predominant tribe in Jubaland securing an overwhelming seats of 21 MPs. The assignment of the parliament seats was not based on a true census, but had a blueprint of robbery of the land of other tribes who lived there for hundreds of years. Anyone who is familiar with the region will only remain shocked as a decision like this could only come from a sick mind. Essentially, this was a robbery which by legal definition is the taking of property in the possession of another by force or intimidation.

Most clans resident in the region including Tunni, Dabare, Harti, Mirifle and the Hawiye clans have no representation or were allocated few seats. Politically Somalia is worse than it was 26 years ago and unfortunately, today the dream of Ahmed Madoobe (an Ethnic Somali from Ethiopia) and his exclusive club is funded by the European, and American taxpayers, protected by Kenyan Military and sustained politically by IGAD- gloomy picture indeed!

The international community as stakeholders must question the validity of this illegal parliament and stop the financial support that it provides to Mr. Madobe. Likewise, IGAD must send a fact finding mission to determine whether the outrage from other clans is legitimate or no. Equally, the President, speaker Jawari, the PM, Sharif Hassan and Dr. Abdiweli should all condemn the robbery of Mr. Ahmed Madobe as his political agenda will only derail the peace process in Somalia. The Zero sum game politics is routine in Africa, in particularly Somalia as a result there is always a U-turn to violence. No genuine attempt is made to find a reliable solution for the ailment of the nation; rather every political move is a deliberate injection to spread further conflicts and divisions.

What does this parliament mean?

Mr. Madoobe taking the advantage of the Kenyan military presence in Kismayo has literally opted to use his power to make his dream come true. From his actions one can deduce, however, that he is not a wise man who could take the advantage of the presence of these troops and transform the artificial peace in Kismayo into a real one. It is certain though in the eyes of personalities like Ahmed Madobe, there is nothing wrong with his illegal parliament as he sees himself as a liberator and no one ought the right to object his ruling.  Actually, according to the seat assignments his clan is represented in every village and district of Lower and Middle Jubba even though they are not the residents of the cities and the villages they are representing. Illegitimate process usually weakens the authority of any regime; thus Mr. Madobe may believe he has done a great deal of service for his clan, but believe me he has only weakened his authority while delegitimizing the Jubba administration.

It is a pity that he hasn’t thought for a second about a peaceful future of Jubaland. The question is how long the Kenyan troops can protect his illegal administration? Kismayo is now experiencing an artificial peace thanks to the Kenyan Military; however, this won’t last longer. There is a serious debate in Kenya’s Parliament whether the Kenyan Army should stay or leave Somalia. The likelihood of Kenyans vacating Kismayo is imminent, regardless of what some Kenyan politicians may think or say in public. Equally, the funding of the AMISOM presence in Somalia will run out sooner or later; then what is next? Inevitably another civil war, another wave of terror. The best opportunity to resolve the Somali conflict is always ignored; Jubaland case is not the exception.

Somalia needs a true reconciliation with real division of power; a divisive politics of Ahmed Madobe will only lead to the reversion of violence in the region. My advice to the Kenyan government is to either force Mr. Madobe to establish a legal parliament with representatives from all the clan groups based on clear facts, or leave the country before it is too late. Ahmed Madoobe’s move have infuriated most clans in the region; regrettably peace will be an expensive commodity in Kismayo for years to come.

To sustain the progress made so far, it is the task of the federal government to intervene on Madobe’s decision to desist local tribes from having representatives in the Jubaland parliament. Institutionalized robbery is a clear act of denial for the rights of the others, subsequently progress towards peace and stability is halted.

Ahmed Yusuf Omar