|Jubaland President Sheikh Ahmed Madobe addresses a meeting of Somali leaders in Nairobi, on Monday. [Photo: Evans Habil/Standard]|
By Geoffrey Mosoku
Nairobi, Kenya: President of Somalia’s autonomous region Jubaland has said he is ready to engage Federal Government of Somali under Sheikh Hassan Mohamoud.
Sheikh Ahmed Madobe said the self-declared State of Jubaland is not seeking secession from Mogadishu but creating a strong administration in Kisimayu.
Speaking in Nairobi, Madobe said he was willing to meet Sheikh Mahmoud and the Mogadishu administration to work out a formula of co-operation where the federal government recognises the autonomous State.
The former warlord also refuted claims that his administration is composed of members from his clan and thus cannot be acceptable to the people of South Somalia.
Sheikh Madobe told supporters in Nairobi that his regime brings on board representatives from the region’s main clans as he seeks to establish an all-inclusive government.
During the meeting, Madobe paraded key ministers in his government who come from various clans among them Owranmale, Bajuni, Somali Bantu, Biyamal, Marjeten, Sheihk Ali and Galjael.
“My government brings on board representatives from all clans contrary to what has been claimed,” he said in Somali language.
At the same time, Madobe has defended his election as president of the southern State last month, saying the move is not meant to weaken the Federal Republic of Somalia.
He said the polls were legitimate and in line with international resolutions to create a strong administration in the South, to help in warding off Al Shabaab.
“My election was an initiative of the people of Jubaland through their own resources. Delegates were picked by all clans in the south,” Sheikh Madobe said.
The meeting in Nairobi was graced by Kenyan MPs, who included Barre Shill, Abdullahi Diriye and Mohamed Shidiye and businessmen.
Madobe, the commander of Ras Kamboni brigade, was a key ally when Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) began an incursion into the region to flash out militants who were threatening the country’s security.
Monday, he praised the role of KDF in restoring security in the region in spite of recent clan fightings.