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Jubbaland officials cite Senator Fartaag, Janan for the growing anti-Kenya sentiments



BALAD-HAWO—A section of community elders in Gedo have announced an all-out war against the Kenyan government following rise in military campaign targeting Al Shabab bases in the area.

Speaking on Sunday, the Mareehan clan elders threatened Kenya with “severe indiscriminatory retaliation attacks” if the air campaign won’t be halted.

Sultan Mohamud, one of the elders who spoke at the event held at Garbaharey, accused the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) of targeting the people of the Gedo region, particularly El-Ade town.

“Kenya is using Gedo region and it’s people as guinea pigs to test their latest military jets. We will not accept that,” Sultan said, urging the locals to use “all means possible to defend themselves against the Kenya forces.”

Jamal Dhaga-Weyne, one of the speakers of the event stated that they would launch attacks on Kenyan nationals, particularly the government workers.

“We share close to 600 kilometres with Kenya as Gedo region. We are sending a message to the President Ruto and the Aden Duale, the Cabinet Secretary for Defence, that we have declared a total war against Kenya.

“We will target everyone: the engineers, doctors and other civil servants,” Jamal said. Several other elders who have immense political influence in the area echoed their sentiments.

Last week, Kenya forces conducted airstrikes targeting the Al-Shabaab controlled town of Ceel-Cadde in the Gedo region of Somalia.

Days earlier, A U.S. airstrike on an Al-Shabaab meeting in the Lower Juba region on Friday killed 43 militants, sources said.

State news agency, SONNA reported Monday that the airstrike that targeted a meeting of Al-Shabaab members in Jamaame eliminated a senior al-Shabaab figure identified as Aden Abdirahman Aden and his Deputy Idiris Abdirahim Nur.

SONNA, which quoted an SNA officer added that the militants were planning to attack Barsanguni military base which hosts Somali National Army and Jubaland State Forces.

The elders who spoke at the Garbaharey event similarly expressed their opposition to the new administration recently appointed by the Jubbaland president, Ahmed Madobe. They also declared allegiance to a group of orgernised armed forces and political operatives opposed to Jubbaland administration.

On Monday, the first vice president of Jubaland, Mohamud Sayid Adan, landed at Dollo town in Gedo region. Accompanied by several leaders and legislators, he held a series of meetings with different groups, senior military officials and clan elders.

“We should get ready for the second phase of the campaign to rid Al-Shabaab from the (Gedo) region,” the Vice-president said. He rallied the locals to “double their efforts to help the government to end the reign of terror.”

Some of the officials who accompanied him cited Senator Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail and the former Jubbaland minister for Interior affairs Abdirashid Janan for “increasing their efforts to ensure that the Government of Jubaland never seize control of the Gedo region and now have encouraged the Marehan community to wage direct war against the Government and the people of Kenya.”

Ex-Jubbaland Interior minister, Abdirashid Janan (right) and Senator Abdullahi Sheikh “Fartaag”

Recently, the counties bordering Somalia have seen a sharp increase in Shabab attacks, raising fears that the militants group, who have been blamed for the assaults, are turning their attention to Kenya as they suffer losses in their native Somalia.

However, since the Garbaharey event, Kenyan security agencies have widen their dragnet with special focus on the open threats declared by the elders, saying it’s now hard to differentiate Al Shabab and the political camp opposed to Jubbaland administration.


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