The Gedo region of Somalia, long plagued by political conflict, is experiencing escalating instability due to recent decisions by Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe. Madobe’s appointment of Abdullahi Ahmed Jama as the new governor of Gedo, and Osman Nuh as his deputy, has reignited long-standing disputes, presenting serious threats to regional stability and development. Governor Ahmed Buule Garad, a key figure in the area, opposes the new administration vehemently, a stance that stokes the ongoing conflict and further divides Jubbaland, casting a looming shadow over the region’s future.
President Madobe’s decision has had far-reaching effects, triggering a backlash from local politicians who see the appointments as a contentious move. Governor Garad, who retained his position amid previous conflict between President Farmaajo’s former government and the Jubbaland administration, made his objections clear in a recent BBC Somali interview. He stated that anyone appointed or associated with Madobe’s administration is unwelcome in Gedo, a stance that aggravates the already delicate political environment. This standoff between Gedo politicians and Jubbaland’s leadership intensifies existing divisions and thwarts attempts at reaching a political consensus.
In the midst of the dispute, Governor Garad emphasizes his independent position within the Jubbaland administration. He expresses a steadfast commitment to fostering unity in Jubbaland and establishing a robust administration in the Lower and Middle Jubba regions. However, his opposition to Madobe’s appointment not only widens the divide between Jubbaland and Gedo but also calls into question the power dynamics within the region. As Garad works to assert his independence and consolidate power, the tension continues to rise, posing significant challenges to regional stability and unity.
A recent meeting in Garbaharrey, the capital of Gedo region, revealed support for Madobe’s new administration. The event, covered by Jubbaland state television, illuminated the complex political landscape within Gedo. Yet, this display of approval faced stiff opposition from federal lawmakers representing the Jubbaland state. Following a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, these representatives voiced their objections to the new Gedo administration. They argue that the appointment will only alienate the people of Gedo and Jubbaland, inflaming the existing conflict.
Senators Iftin Hassan Baasto and Fartaag accused President Hassan Sheikh of prior knowledge of Madobe’s plan, hinting at potential collusion and adding another layer of complexity to the situation. These contrasting viewpoints underscore the deep divisions within the region, jeopardizing the prospects for unity and peaceful coexistence.
The situation in Gedo was further strained by reports that two planes carrying the newly appointed Gedo authorities were denied landing at Garbaharey city airport. This incident underscores the bitter dispute between local residents and the Jubbaland state leadership as they vie for control. Such denial of entry aggravates the political turmoil in Gedo, raising significant concerns about regional stability and security. It highlights the urgent need for constructive dialogue and efficient conflict resolution mechanisms to prevent further escalation and ensure the safety of the local population.
Gedo Region continues to suffer from political instability and a complex security environment characterized by inter-clan rivalry and an active presence of al-Shabaab insurgents. This unstable environment is also made worse by the hostility between Presidenjt Ahmed Islam ‘Madobe’ and the Governor Ahmed Buule Garad; a relationship that has worsened considerably since the former attempted to appoint a new administration for Gedo Region to replace Garad and his political allies. This rivalry, which is reflective of the inter-clan conflict for political power between the Marehan, Ogedeni and other clans, continued to cast uncertainty over the future of Gedo Region.
This conflict has also had ripple effects over the local security environment and complicated the deployment of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) peacekeepers, the Somali National Army and other security forces including the National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA). It is therefore essential for local, regional, and international stakeholders to engage in urgent and concerted efforts to tackle the conflict’s root causes, promote inclusive dialogue, and work towards a sustainable resolution. This could pave the way for unity, peace, and progress in Gedo region and the broader Jubbaland state.
The resolution must align with the principles of transparency, accountability, and respect for the rule of law. This would ensure the stability of the region, protect the rights of its residents, and uphold aspirations for a prosperous and harmonious future. Failing to act could risk prolonging socio-political instability as well as open the door for al-Shabaab to exploit these conflicts and the security vacuum that they create.
Given the gravity of the situation, it’s imperative that the international community and the Somali Federal Government intervene to mediate and promote peaceful dialogue among the parties involved. Their assistance is crucial in fostering a political environment conducive to reconciliation, unity, and long-term stability.