On Friday, the traditional elders of the Hawadle clan in the Middle Shabelle region withdrew from the forming of the Jowhar district council. They reached this decision during a meeting of various sections of the Hawadle community. They expressed dissatisfaction, complaining about not receiving their rightful share in the district representation.
Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, HirShabelle, SOMALIA.
The chief elders of the Hawadle community in Middle Shabelle explained that HirShabelle had allocated only two slots to the community, which they believed was inadequate. They emphasised that Hawadle deserved better representation. Therefore, they declined to sign the final agreement on behalf of the community.
The local council in Jowhar comprises representatives from five communities. Four out of the five had signed the pledges.
The Hawadle chief elder recounted a conversation with HirShabelle President Ali Gudlawe Hussein. The President allegedly informed him that Hawadle initially had the right to only one slot in the local council, referring to 1993 agreements. Now, they have got two. However, the clan elder suggested that such an agreement did not exist.
He also referred to the historical context of Hawadle’s influence in Jowhar, mentioning their significant role in 1960. However, the clan chief indicated that President Gudlawe had a different perspective and rejected the elder’s plea for more slots.
Calls for a fair resolution
The chief elder expressed concern that the Hawadle community was not part of the forming process as the local council election was nearing completion. He voiced their complaints to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the international community, emphasising that the Hawadle community felt oppressed and demanded a fair resolution.
The intellectuals and cultural elders of the Hawadle community declared their refusal to participate in the local council unless the HirShabelle administration adequately addressed their grievances. They assert that anyone participating in the local council without resolving their concerns does not represent the Hawadle clan.
Despite Hawadle chief elders’ refusal to sign the agreement and confirm the two slots they received, the district council, including two Hawadle representatives, was sworn in on Saturday. Then on Sunday, the representatives elected Osman Mohamed Muqtar ‘Barey’ (pictured above) as the Chairman of the Jowhar district and, therefore, the city’s mayor. Barey’s opponent, Abdi Adan Nuur, admitted defeat.
This is not the only dispute that the formation of the Jowhar district council recently experienced. A week ago, Owbakar Gabane clan members blocked the traffic near the city to protest the local council formation. They complained that their representatives were not part of its composition. Owbakar Gabane wanted to receive one seat of the ten allocated for the Abgal clan. On 24 October, the movement returned to normal after Owbakar Gabane received a promise to get this seat.