Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:59 - Updated Thu, 22 Aug 2019 17:58
Somalia's Jubbaland president wins new term amid rift with central govt
GAROWE, Somalia - The president of Jubbaland, a Somali region critical to East Africa’s fight against al Shabaab militants, won a fresh term on Thursday, the parliamentary speaker said, amid a growing rift between the federal government and its semi-autonomous states.
Send by email
To share this news by email, fill out the information below and click Send
To report errors in the texts of articles published, fill out the information below and click Send
Ahmed Mohamed Madobe, a top security partner for neighbouring Kenya, which helps Somalia fight the militant group, won 56 of the 74 votes cast by lawmakers in the regional parliament, speaker Cabdi Maxamed Abdirahmaan said.
The bitter local contest has stoked tensions between Kenya and Ethiopia, longtime allies who both have large contingents of peacekeepers in the country and see Jubbaland as a buffer zone against Islamist attacks in their own countries. Kenya supports Madobe, while Ethiopia has grown increasingly close to the federal government in Mogadishu.
“I am ready to sit and speak with all people, including the opposition. I will speak and work with anyone who has a complaint,” Madobe told parliament after the vote.
There was no immediate reaction from the central government in Mogadishu to the result. Mogadishu said on Saturday it would not recognise the result, saying the candidate selection process had violated the national constitution.
It has accused Madobe of interfering in the process and has backed opposition candidates, who were rejected by the electoral commission when they attempted to register.
Not all of Somalia’s stakeholders have confidence in the process and there is a risk that the vote’s outcome will not be widely accepted, the United Nations mission in Somalia said last week.
The barred opposition candidates said they held their own vote in Kismayo on Thursday, electing Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig.
The impact of this parallel vote was not immediately clear. Ahead of the vote, the group of barred opposition candidates said in a statement: “Our parallel government formation will continue until the other side stops the process.”
The re-elected leader Madobe ousted Shabaab from Jubbaland’s capital in 2012 with the help of Kenyan forces, took power and was elected in 2015.
Analysts say that Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo must exert greater control over Jubbaland and the other regions ahead of national elections next year and that he does not see Madobe as a viable partner.Reuters
- 21/08/2019 18:41:46
TUNIS - Tunisia’s moderate Islamists are hoping the genial Beethoven fan they have nominated to run in next month’s presidential elections will break the mould in the Arab world by turning success at the ballot box into uncontested rule.
- 21/08/2019 18:39:14
KIGALI - The presidents of Rwanda and Uganda signed a pact on Wednesday in Angola’s capital aimed at ending a long-running rivalry that flared up into a dispute this year and forced them to closed their border, the Rwandan presidency said.
- 21/08/2019 18:36:13
JOHANNESBURG- A South African court on Wednesday ruled that displaying the country’s apartheid-era flag in public constituted hate speech that discriminated against black people and violated equality laws.