|Jubaland President Sheikh Ahmed Madobe during an interview at Crown Plaza Hotel in Nairobi, yesterday. [PHOTO: tabitha otwori/STANDARD]|
By GEOFFREY MOSOKU
Kenya: The simmering tension between the Government of Mogadishu and that in Nairobi over the establishment of Somali’s breakaway State of Jubaland has gotten intervention from a likely source.
State of Jubaland President, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, has said Kenya is not behind the establishment of his newly breakaway state.
Madobe, who was recently elected President of the semi-autonomous region, defended the Government of Kenya and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from claims of backing his administration. In an interview with The Standard, the Jubaland leader said the establishment of a federal state in the South of Somalia was in line with Igad’s four-year marshal plan of restoring stability in Somalia.
He said the creation of a strong administration based on federalism was mooted in Addis Ababa four years ago during an Igad meeting that was attended by the then Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and presidents from the region.
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“The only role that Kenya and Ethiopia have played is the provision of troops who have helped in flushing out the Al Shabaab elements from Jubaland,” he said.
The Ras Kamboni brigades’ Commander, who was Kenya’s key ally during the incursion against Al Shabaab by KDF, also denied allegations that Kenya’s military was abusing and mistreating his people.
“KDF transited into Amison and there have been no incidents of human rights abuse by either KDF or Amison,” Madobe said while accusing some elements of the Somali Government of working in cahoots with remnants of Al Shabaab to taint the soldiers’ image.
Madobe denied allegations of secession from Somalia and said external donors who include Kenya did not fund his election at the Kisimayu University.
Kenya has repeatedly denied being behind the creation of a semi-autonomous state to act as a buffer zone against the Al Shabaab militants who threaten regional stability through their terrorism activities.
An MP recently went to the Somalia Parliament and displayed pictures of what he claimed was proof of KDF’s abuses on the people of Jubaland, but Sheikh Madobe distanced his administration and KDF from the photos.
Madobe said he is looking forward to working with the Government of Sheikh Hassan Mohamoud (Somalia President) through a federal regime system.