By Geoffrey Mosoku
Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya has been asked to rethink its support for the self-declared state of Jubaland in southern Somalia as the region and the Federal governments squabble.
The situation has further been compounded with warlords drawn from various declaring themselves president.
A group of Kenyan businessmen warned that Kenya’s security is likely to be once again threatened if the region returns to the hands of Al Shabaab, with fighting reported in parts of the south after six men declared themselves president.
The group told the government to remain neutral in mediating a solution of the emerging conflict between Jubaland and the Federal Government; which is reluctant to recognize an independent Juba state.
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The new conflict between the Somali Federal Government and Jubaland is likely to crop up today in Addis Ababa during the ongoing AU heads of State meeting. Somali president Sheikh Hassan is set to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the matter.
The business community said Jubaland is likely to experience a new wave of insecurity as the war-lords seek to control the port of Kismayu with its effects likely to spill over to Kenya.
“Currently there is high insecurity in parts of North eastern and Garissa in specific. All this is caused by the happenings in South Somali,” Abdi Hajji who is a Garissa based businessman said.
Hajji told reporters in Nairobi that the wave of insecurity in Garissa and other regions such as Wajir is a cause of conflict in the South.
Ahmed Mohamed Islam alias Sheikh Madobe of the Ogaden, who was Kenya’s key ally during the incursion against Al Shabab last year was elected President at Kismayu university.
However five others have also declared themselves president; with little known Abdi Baley of the Galcee clan becoming the latest entrant in claiming the presidency.
Others are Iffin Mohamed Soyan (Ormale clan), Abbdiakdir Ali Mohamed (Digil-Mirefle clan), Barre Adan (Hirale-Marehan clan) and Omar Burare Ahmed of Sheikh Ali clan.
Jubaland is divided intro three regions; middle Juba which is still in the control of Al Shabab, Gedo region and Lower Juba which Sheikh Madobe controls.
On Wednesday, a 14 member delegation sent from Mogadishu to Kisimayu on a fact finding mission accused the semi-autonomous state and Kenya Defense Forces(KDF) who re working under Amisom of refusing to accord them security.
“KDF forces refused to give us security to go around the town on a fact finding mission. Air transport between Mogadishu and Kismayu too has been suspended,” the delegation’s spokesmen Bishar Ibrahim said in a statement.
Bishar told Kenya that the Mogadishu was seeking means of bringing together all the regions in the south and creating an administration that is acceptable to all the clans; a venture which Kenya should support.
“Kenya and KDF should support the Federal Government under President Sheikh Hassan Mohamoud to unite the people of Sothern Somali instead of working with one faction,” he added.
On Tuesday, a committee midwifing the Kismayu Transition accused Mogadishu of sponsoring militia linked to Al Shabab to destabilize the region.
Currently KDF forces are deployed In Somali under Amison as they seek to help the Hassan led government to restore instability in a country that has lacked a stable government for two decades.