Southwest State’s political elite is dissatisfied with their region’s current affairs. A meeting that took place in Nairobi over several days involved candidates vying for the presidency of Southwest State, as well as prominent regional politicians.
Nairobi, KENYA. By Dalmar:
In a press release issued yesterday following the end of their gathering, the attendees expressed deep concerns about the direction of Southwest State. They cite the failure of the incumbent President, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed ‘Laftagareen’, to effectively combat the extremist group al-Shabaab. Moreover, they accuse him of using al-Shabaab as a political shield, avoiding responsibility for other regional challenges. Additionally, the press release raised concern about the inability to hold free and fair elections in the State.
Problematic February agreement
Central to their grievances is a political agreement from February 2023. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) brokered a deal which sought to reconcile President Laftagareen and opposition leaders, some of whom the FGS allegedly backed. The politicians contend that this agreement remains to be fully implemented. Although “it is high time for an all-inclusive election,” the press release warns that no discernible preparations are underway.
Notably, the February 2023 agreement has been superseded by another deal between the Federal Member States (FMS) and the Federal Government. This subsequent accord stipulates that elections across all Member States will take place simultaneously in 2024. All Member States except Puntland have endorsed this new agreement.
Uncertainty looms over the timing and nature of the elections in Southwest State. The region remains on edge, grappling with political discord and security challenges.
Former Chief of Staff eyes SWS presidency
Hussein Sheikh Mohamud, a former Chief of Staff at Villa Somalia, who faced accusations of maintaining ties with al-Shabaab, hinted at seeking the leadership of the Southwest State. He claimed that he resigned because of “an evolving earnestness of the situation in the Southwest State of Somalia.” Furthermore, he stated that he followed “the advice of the public and politicians from the [Southwest] State,” suggesting that it is “substantial to put extra time into working on the interest of Southwest State and its people…”
Nonetheless, it is clear that Mr Mohamud had to resign due to the scandal with maintaining connections with al-Shabaab. Analysts speculate that he might be just trying to save his reputation by mentioning the focus on SWS as the reason.