Sunday October 14, 2018
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale. Duale enjoys close links with several senior political figures in the Somali government. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
In a series of social media posts last week, National Assembly
Majority Leader Aden Duale said he had held a meeting in Ethiopia with
the new president of the Somali region and was briefed on what was going
on in the restive area.
“We will continue to support
the security and stability of the countries in the Horn of Africa,” Mr
Duale, who also posted a picture of the meeting, wrote.
Twitter post gave a snapshot of Mr Duale’s involvement in regional
Somali issues. The Garissa Town MP is one man who easily makes news
headlines in the neighbouring Somalia, the weight of his pronouncements
Recently, he made it to the headlines
on a very weighty matter, but authorities in the Federal Government of
Somalia (FGS) have curiously not contradicted him.
an interview with Universal TV, a London-based station, which broadcasts
in Somali language, Mr Duale asked Somalia’s President Mohamed
Abdullahi Mohamed to stem the growing rifts between the central and
“President Farmaajo, you need to
show patience and leadership to stop the political crisis in Somalia.
You should act like the father in this matter and rally everyone behind
you,” advised Mr Duale, in reference to the current standoff between the
central and regional governments.
month, during a conference in Somalia’s Kismayo city, leaders of the
regional states of Puntland, Hirshabelle, Southwest, Jubaland and
Galmudug resolved to severe links with the central government of
“Your daily political fights in the
midst of deaths of innocent civilians in Somalia is so shameful,” Mr
Duale told the Somali leaders in the interview broadcast late last
To date, neither President Mohamed nor officials from his government have contradicted the Kenyan politician.
Similarly, the regional leaders remained mum over the highly publicised Duale rebuke.
Duale told the Sunday Nation he made the remarks in his personal
capacity as a member and leader of the Somali ethnic community “and not
on behalf of the Kenyan government”.
Asked if he was
concerned his remarks were tantamount to interfering with affairs of
another country, Mr Duale retorted: “What interference?”
Acknowledging that Somalia is a brotherly nation, the MP claimed to have been misquoted by some media outlets.
have our soldiers in Somalia, whose aim is to bring peace in the
country. As an individual or we as government are geared at securing the
country and promoting peaceful coexistence among our people,” the MP
told the Sunday Nation.
Dr Edward Kisianga’ni, who
teaches history and international relations at Kenyatta University,
observes that comments attributed to Mr Duale would have ordinarily
caused tension between the two neighbouring countries.
we are dealing with a complex situation here that defies diplomatic
protocol. Most leaders and the people of Somalia view Kenya as a big
brother, meaning they can sometimes tolerate harsh brotherly advice.”
fact that Duale is also a member of the Somali ethnic community, who is
a senior official in the Uhuru Kenyatta administration, partly explains
Mogadishu’s cordial relationship with Kenya.
way, Mr Duale and President Mohamed, who are members of the larger
Somali Darod clan, are respected linkmen of the Mogadishu administration
and the Kenyan government.
partly explains why Mr Duale has particularly been at the forefront in
defending the interests of Somalia, and even more zealously, those of
In April, for instance, he declared
the government would not allow Somali opposition leader Abdirahman
Abdishakur to use the Kenyan soil “to undermine and destabilise the
democratically elected government of Farmaajo”.
Abdishakur had been scheduled to address a series of political rallies in the capital Nairobi.
Mr Duale’s constant warning, and close scrutiny of his activities by
Kenyan authorities, Abdishakur, who was initially operating from Kenya,
has since shifted his political base to Ankara, Turkey, from where he
now launches attacks on the Somali government.
Kisiang’ani opines that there are more compounding factors, including
business interests, responsible for Mr Duale’s defence and sometimes
attack of the Somali government’s leadership.
“It is a
known fact that some of our political leaders from northern Kenya have
been fingered for engaging in business deals with certain heads of
regional states in Somalia.
"And because of the
semi-autonomous nature of their operations, it is in the interest of
such businessmen that the regional presidents pull away from control of
the central government.”
commentator on political affairs claims one senior politician from
northern Kenya has several business interests in Somalia, including
running a bus company that operates between Kenya and the Somali
capital, and transportation of contraband goods into the country,
National Assembly’s Minority Whip
Junet Mohamed in January claimed some Somali businessmen in the country
were destabilising the government of Somalia.
President Mohamed, Mr Duale enjoys close links with several senior
political figures in the Somali government, including the regional
Mr Duale and the President of Jubaland
region, Mr Ahmed Mohamed Islam, alias Madobe, for instance, belong to
the Ogaden sub-clan.
According to Ahmed Maalim Abdi, a
Mogadishu-based political commentator, the Kenyan legislator has
politically outgrown the confines of his Kenyan border: “Duale is an
influential Somali-ethnic politician with interests of the wider Somali
community at heart. People of Somalia closely monitor his deeds.”