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Hiiran elders snub new round of inter-regional state

Published on March 9, 2016 by   ·   860 Comments

Elders in the central Somali region of Hiiraan have boycotted another round of inter-regional state formation conference with the neighbouring Middle Shabelle region, in latest standoff related to the initiative being pushed by the Somali president.

The council of the regional elders earlier snubbed to attend the conference which was held in Jowhar, the regional capital of Middle Shabelle region, accusing Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of breaking promises related to their attendance to the talks.

Speaking at the meeting, Ugas Hassan Ugas Khalif, the chieftain of Hawadle clan criticized the government of unfairness in its efforts to bring the two regions to come with the aim of the formation of an inter-regional state.

“It’s because of lack of justice that Somalia is still unable to move forward.” He said, accusing the government of leaving behind clans that were supposed to join the power sharing scheme while according to him, others were offered a share far less than they were supposed to get.

He said that the council of elders would take a decision towards the initiative, without giving more details.

Despite the criticism, Somali government had earlier promised of working towards the interest of the two regions to bring the two sides on the table.

However, elders accused the government of messing up the process wrong in the first place, citing vagueness in running the process which they said fell short of their expectations.

“The way they are managing the process is wrong and its pushed by a hidden political agenda which is being planned in contrast to the interest of the people in the region.” said Ugas Abdirahman Ugas Abdullahi, the chieftain of Galje’el clan at the meeting in Beledweyne, the region’s capital of Hiiraan region.

The development had dealt a potential blow to the president’s efforts, seen as the best chance to form an inter-regional state for the neighbouring regions.

No comment could be reached from Somali government on the development which underscores challenges facing its efforts aimed at spreading the new federalism system initiative across the country.

Political analysts have earlier pointed out complexities surrounding the state’s formation process, given lack of consensus, mistrust and rivalry among clans in the two regions.

The elders have earlier set tough terms on their endorsement for the formation of the proposed inter-regional state, demanding the allocation of the proposed state’s capital along with the conference’s venue for their region, a suggestion dismissed by its neighbouring region.

Source HOL