Delicate birth of Jubaland
The Indian Ocean Newsletter
December 14, 2012
A fighter of the pro-government Ras Kimboni Brigade holds his weapon as he gets a haircut inside a barber`s kiosk in a market area in the centre of the southern Somali port city of Kismayo, about 500 km (310 miles) south of Mogadishu in this October 7, 2012 handout photo taken and released by the African Union-United Nations Information Support Team. REUTERS
Kenya and Ethiopia are still backing the plan to create a regional State of Jubaland around Kismayo. They would appear to have finally come to terms with the idea of a combined approach.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has backtracked a little on his original idea of setting up an administration in Kismayo controlled by Mogadishu and is now trying to bring the regional players to settle the issue via a tripartite negotiation. He would appear to have convinced the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn when he visited Addis Ababa at the end of November, but is not likely to fare so well with the Kenyan authorities, which he is to meet soon in Nairobi. The Somalian federal government wants a transition authority to be rapidly appointed in Kismayo to run Jubaland until its inhabitants elect their own administration.
Talks are currently under way between the representatives of various clans and a technical committee consisting of delegates from the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Somalian federal government. The Ogaden are represented by Mohamed Ahmed Islam Madobe and Mohamed Abdi Gandhi, while the Ethiopian backed Marehan from the Gedo region are represented by General Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail Fartag and the Harti (Majerteen, Dhulbahante and Warsangeli) by General Mohamed Warsame Farah Darwish, a former director of intelligence services under the government of Abdullahi Yusuf. IGAD also invited some minority clans, like the Biyamal (Dir) and the Galjaal (Hawiye), but the Darod are in the dominant position at the negotiating table. The autonomous administration of Puntland, which supports the creation of an autonomous State of Jubaland, also wants its say on representing the Harti. So far, no outcome appears to be in sight, as neither of the two favourites to run Jubaland, Madobe and Gandhi, have managed to impose their will.
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Somali government delegation`s visit to Kismaayo stirs renewed controversy
BBC Monitoring Africa
December 30, 2012
Sheikh Madobe speaks to journalists at Kismayo International Airport in this handout photo taken and released by the African Union-United Nations Information Support team November 30, 2012. Credit REUTERS/
Text of report in English by Somali pro-Puntland government Garoweonline website on 30 December, subheading as published
Kismaayo, Somalia, 30 December 2012: A delegation dispatched by the Somali Federal Government in Mogadishu to visit and assess the situation in the southern port city of Kismaayo returned to Mogadishu on Saturday, Garowe Online reports.
The ministerial delegation, led by Interior Minister Abdikarim Husayn Guled, arrived in Kismaayo on 27 December and engaged in meetings with the local political leaders, military officers, and community elders.
One political insider in Kismaayo, who spoke to Garowe Online on condition of anonymity, indicated that the discussions between the federal ministers and Kismaayo local leaders “ended in stalemate” over the issue of Jubbaland formation. “There was a disagreement over Jubbaland issue. The federal ministers proposed that Mogadishu appoint a three-month interim administration for Kismaayo District,” said the source, adding that Kismaayo leaders “rejected” the proposal.
Continuing, the source said: “The Kismaayo political group is actively pursuing the formation of Jubbaland supported by local clans at a public convention.”
Kismaayo political leader Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Islam (Ahmad Madobe) said: “Somalia has adopted federalism...It has been agreed that Kismaayo and the Jubbaland regions will establish an administration supported by the local people and the local people will elect their leadership.”
Potential political rift
The political source in Kismaayo also tells Garowe Online that the federal ministers had told the Kismaayo administration that the Somali federal parliament is planning to introduce a parliamentary motion “specifying” federal and state powers in the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Under the country`s adopted federal constitution, four national issues have been deferred until a negotiated agreement is reached among the existing and emerging federated states of Somalia in the future, namely: distribution of power at state- and federal-levels, revenue-sharing, a federal capital city, and the issue of natural resources.
A political source in Puntland tells Garowe Online that Somali President Hasan Shaykh Mahmud is “pursuing centralized government where he can appoint governors to [the former] 18 regions of  Somalia.”
Continuing, source said: “If the federal parliament introduces such motion, it is unconstitutional and potentially a new political rift will emerge in Somalia.”
The Somali federal government was established in August 2012, after the adoption of the provisional federal constitution of Somalia.
Source: Garoweonline.com in English 30 Dec 12
© 2012 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers and members of the pro-government Ras Kamboni Brigade walk along the quay-side past a ship docked at the seaport of the southern Somali port city of Kismayo November 2, 2012. Picture taken November 2, 2012. REUTERS
Somalia, Its Neighbours and Al-Shabaab - The Quest for Sustainable Solutions
by Seifulaziz Milas
January 04, 2013
Jan 04, 2013 (African Arguments/All Africa Global Media) -- In Somalia, the radical Islamist militia, Al-Shabab, that has terrorized much of the country over the past five years, appears to be on the run. They have been forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, and all of the major towns that were once under their control (including Kismayo in the South). But those who believe the Shabaab are finished could find that they are sorely mistaken.
The eradication of Al-Shabaab, although essential to the peace and security of both Somalia and its neighbours, is unlikely to be achieved by military force alone. What is actually required is a coordinated and sustained regional effort to eliminate the underlying causes of the growth of Islamist radicalism among Somali youth including assistance to effectively address the persistent and structural humanitarian crisis affecting most of Somalia.
Key requirements include improved governance, and concerted efforts to rebuild and expand Somali livelihoods, and the country`s economy. Most of the current generation of Somalis have grown up in conditions of conflict, insecurity of livelihood and deprivation. This has tended to make many of them vulnerable to the arguments and promises of the Islamist militants. The new Somali Government must avoid the corruption trap and tendencies towards dividing up the governmental `cake` along clan lines, and focus its efforts on solving the livelihood problems faced by the majority of the country`s population.
The new government must also urgently address humanitarian issues and start the flow of food aid to the areas liberated from Al- Shabaab. The Shabaab alienated large groups of people in southern and central Somalia by allowing them to die of hunger, rather than permit aid organizations to give them food. If the arrival of food aid, and assistance for reconstruction follows quickly in the tracks of the Kenyan and AMISOM forces, that will strengthen the local constituency for the elimination of Al-Shabaab in the country.
Food aid is a necessary but temporary expedient. It helps to keep people alive, while plans to enable them to earn a livelihood are being made. This is an area in which there is a vital role for the international community to play in putting Somalia back on the road to development and self-reliance.
Along with conflict, drought and desertification are key causes of impoverishment and destitution in large areas of Somalia and adjacent regions of Ethiopia and Kenya. With an increasing population, there is more pressure on the land and its limited resources. Drought and desertification disasters are occurring at increasingly shorter intervals, with less opportunity for recovery. Hundreds of thousands of rural households in Somalia and neighbouring regions of Ethiopia and Kenya have lost most of the livestock on which they depend, dropping entire communities into chronic destitution.
Implications for the IGAD region
Regional economic integration could make an important contribution to addressing these shared problems, in the context of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) - the Regional Economic Commission for the Horn of Africa. It provides the institutional framework for regional economic integration, towards increasing prosperity and integration into the global economy.
The countries of the region are bound by history and geography in relationships of interdependence with considerable potential for cooperation for their common development, for example, through transport corridors to seaports, management of shared water resources, and improved energy security.
Much of rural Somalia is gripped in a livelihood crisis with increasingly serious implications for human security. It is a situation that demands substantial investment in the integrated development of the region`s land and water resources and creating sustainable alternative livelihoods. The key requirements for this include improved infrastructure to provide reliable access to transport, water and affordable energy. In particular, the rehabilitation of the country`s internal roads and their interconnection with those of the neighbouring countries could open the way to increased trade, economic growth and poverty reduction.
Similarly, the ongoing oil price crisis makes affordable energy a key problem faced by countries that like Somalia where people largely depend on oil fired electricity generation. But this could be addressed by interconnection with Ethiopia`s electricity grid to enable it to purchase much cheaper hydroelectricity, a solution already agreed by Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan, in the context of the planned East African Power Pool (EAPP).
The EAPP is already on the way to becoming part of a new regional reality, and a key example of regional economic integration. In September 2012 the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved USD348 million in funding for a USD 1.26 billion project for an electricity transmission line connecting Ethiopia and Kenya. This is a key step towards the establishment of the East African Power Pool, which may later be connected to a Southern Africa Power Pool. The project will promote power trade and regional integration. Djibouti is already interconnected with Ethiopia`s power grid and buying Ethiopian hydropower at a fraction of the cost of oil-based power generation. The same could be done for Somalia.
Addressing the basic issues of sustainable rural livelihoods will need to be undertaken through forms of regional economic integration that encourage the cooperative development of the shared water resources of this drought disaster-prone region comprising Somalia, the Ethiopian Somali region (the Ogaden) and northeastern Kenya. These areas are inextricably linked in terms of ethnic ties, economic exchange and inter-dependence, shared natural resources, and the constant cross-border movement of their pastoral populations.
The Way Forward
There is an important opportunity for joint development of the hydroelectric and irrigation potential of the Shabelle and Dawa-Gennale-Juba river basins in the context of infrastructure-led regional economic integration. The cooperative development of the shared water resources of this drought prone region of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia offers considerable potential to rehabilitate the livelihoods of their populations and put them on the path to sustainable development and peace.
Multi-purpose dams on the Shabelle and Dawa-Gennale-Juba rivers could contribute to the hydroelectric power needs of the three countries, enhance their irrigation potential, and prevent the recurrent floods that from time to time devastate large areas of the lower Shabelle and Gennale-Juba basins, leading to serious loss of life and property. It would need significant investment, but it would be far cheaper than the costs of chronic conflict and humanitarian disasters and the economic returns would repay the investment.
With a million hectares of irrigable land on the Ethiopian side and hundreds of thousands within Somalia, both countries would benefit from such development. This would enable irrigation-based agriculture, livestock raising, agro-processing, and employment, for those who choose to settle, as well as those who are already settled, but are often affected by recurrent drought, and food insecurity. It would also reduce the chronic poverty and resource competition that are among the major underlying causes of conflict.
The dams to be built in the two main river basins would control the massive periodic floods like those that occurred in the lower Juba valley a decade ago, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of livestock and considerable loss of human life. The regular availability of water would prevent the loss of huge numbers of valuable livestock, and crops to frequent drought disasters. Along with disaster prevention, they would also provide opportunities for hydropower production. The availability of affordable hydropower could provide a key economic missing link, by opening the way to agro-processing, adding value to agricultural and livestock production, providing employment for the population, and reducing poverty. This could also make a major contribution to reduction of resource competition and conflict risk.
As in India and China, labour-intensive light manufacturing has significant potential to put the Horn of Africa on the road to development. Countries like Ethiopia and Somalia have the necessary cheap labour for this, but what they need to make the jump is abundant, affordable and reliable electricity, to enable them to add value to their production, for example, by exporting meat and leather products, rather than livestock on the hoof.
Somalia, once it settles its internal conflicts, will be well-positioned to benefit from regional economic integration. This, of course, will depend to a large degree on the success of the new government, with the assistance of the AU forces in defeating the Al-Shabaab militias, and establishing an acceptable level of governance. If successful, a peaceful Somalia could have the opportunity, based on the shared water resources of the Dawa-Gennale-Juba, and Shabelle river basins, to rebuild its long neglected agricultural and livestock economies.
A member of Ras Kambani, a local militia, accompanies an AMISOM convoy from Kismayo International Airport to the port city of Kismayo in this handout photo taken and released by the African Union-United Nations Information Support team November 29, 2012. Credit REUTERS
In the context of IGAD and regional economic integration, a peaceful Somalia, would also be well-positioned to benefit from Ethiopian use of its port facilities, as Ethiopia begins to tap the agricultural and livestock development potential of its Ogaden region. The closest ports to the southeastern Ogaden are those of Mogadishu and Kismayo. This would open the way to a new and more constructive, cooperative and peaceful relationship between the two countries.
This is particularly important in view of the rapid increase in population numbers across much of the area, and the increasing pressure of fast-growing populations on diminishing resources. The more effective and cooperative use of the region`s water resources, could make important contributions to economic development, to the reduction of poverty, periodic food insecurity, hunger and conflict risk.
The potential for irrigated agriculture and livestock-raising could serve as a lifebelt for both farming and pastoral populations dependent on erratic rainfall, in the context of periodic drought and food shortages, and increasing poverty. It would open the way to sustainable rural livelihoods, and to increased opportunities for urban employment and trade, within Somalia, and between Somalia and its neighbours.
In the context of regional economic integration, this would reduce resource competition and accelerate development and livelihood opportunities. It would also reduce conflict risk by providing the populations on both sides of the border with resources and opportunities that they could not afford to jeopardize, or allow to be jeopardized, through conflict.
Seifulaziz Milas is a writer on the Horn of Africa and author of Sharing the Nile: Egypt, Ethiopia and the Geo-Politics of Water.
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