Intergovernmental Authority on Development Special envoy to Somalia Ambassador Mohammed Abdi Affey has dismissed claims that Kenya is keen on creating Jubbaland in Somalia as a buffer state against the AL-Shabaab militants.
Friday, September 19, 2014
The former Wajir South MP said the claims are misconceptions and ignorance fronted by persons who don't wish for peace in war scarred Somalia.
Speaking to the Standard after attending the opening of a reconciliation conference for the communities in the Gedo, Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba regions in Kismayo, Affey said Jubbaland is just of the many federal states being created in Somalia.
"It is the people of Jubbaland that want to create a state and as IGAD we congratulate the people for embracing peace and solidifying Jubbaland", he said.
He said IGAD participated in convincing the militia leader Bare Adam Shire Hirale to lay down weapons and participate in the reconciliation meeting, that will end unnecessary bloodletting of innocent Somalis.
Hirale has on previous occasions declined to attend peace processes and took the route of fighting to show his disapproval of the existence of Jubbaland state.
Somalia's president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud attended the opening of the reconciliation conference in Kismayo on Tuesday.
Affey said that the president's presence is a testament that he is supporting the initiative to create Jubbaland state.
Affey said the creation of a successful Jubbaland state will be a model for other states proposed to be formed.
He said the 21 day reconciliation meeting in Kismayo will seek to bring together all clans and sub-clans so that the clans in Somalia can talk and resolve their issues on negotiations table and desist from use of violence as way of express dissenting opinions.
He said militias in the Jubbaland have significantly been degraded and that IGAD will help the militias integrate with the Somali national forces. He at the same time said Jubbaland requires massive investment.