Kismayo ( PPM) – The Federal Government of Somalia last month changed its policy of non-recognition for Jubaland Administration led by Ahmed Mohamed Islam. The new policy grants a two-year tenure for the incumbent administration that claims to have legitimacy bestowed upon it by its parliament whose MPs elected the Jubaland President last year.

Jubaland Administration has rejected the two-year term offer of  which one year has elapsed. The International Community has questioned the outcome of the 2019 Jubaland election. The rift between Mogadishu and Kismayo had begun when the Federal Government tried to persuade the Jubaland Government to accept Federal Interior Ministry electoral guidelines. Parallel elections took place in Kismayo,  with a reform group electing a rival president against Jubaland President.  The political deadlock seemed to have come to an end when a group of politicians from the  reform group had signed an agreement with President Ahmed in Nairobi. The agreement had come to be viewed by many as “a deal struck by politicians from the same clan”.

Jubaland President (left) might attend a summit to be chaired by President Farmajo (right)

Jubaland relations with the Federal Government have deteriorated after Kismayo supported a call from the Speaker of the Upper House to hold consultations between the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States.  The Federal Government organised a summit to form a consensus on elections. The impending summit will bring together Federal Member States and the Federal Government. Jubaland President is said to be on horns of dilemma about attending the summit.

Jubaland is a Federal Member State which many different clans inhabit. Al-shabaab controls its administrative capital, Bu’aale. The Federal Government has a plan to dislodge Bu’aale from Al-shabaab with help from AMISOM. If that plan comes to fruition, Jubaland Administration’s legitimacy could be further weakened. President Ahmed fears a compromise on his term of office will deny him the opportunity to select who could succeed him after his “ four-year term” comes to an end. He won three successive elections, the last election being the most controversial.

Gedo is a part of Jubaland but is run as a separate region where the Somali Army division is based. It is not clear which will blink first, the Federal Government or Jubaland President.

© Puntland Post Monthly, 2020