Jubaland conference kicks off in Kismayo
Delegates from three regions of Somalia are today meeting in the port city of Kismayo on a key conference aimed at crafting a regional administration for the three regions.
The meeting dubbed Jubaland conference brings together local leaders from Gedo, Lower Juba and Middle Juba regions as they seek to form a new regional government in accordance with the provisional federal constitution.
The conference which was earlier slatted for February 23 was bushed back three days for what organizers say was a “technical hitch”. It kicked off Thursday morning at University of Kismayo compound located outside the port city, according a spokesman for the seating interim administration, Abdinasir Serar.
Serar said security in and around the city has been beefed up with their forces backed by Kenyan troops serving the AU mission in Somalia patrolling along the main roads.
It is not clear whether government delegations will attend the conference in Kismayo. Government and the current administration in the city have been divided over the formation of Jubaland.
Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon recently invited Jubaland stakeholders for a consultative meeting in Mogadishu while the organizing committee of the conference also invited government representative to their meeting in Kismayo.
But speaking at the opening of the conference, chairman of the interim administration and the leader of Raskamboni militia group Ahmed Mohamed Islan (Ahmed Madobe) appealed to the federal government to sent its delegation to Kismayo and take part in the conference.
He said his administration is fully loyal to the federal government, hopping that Mogadishu will be part of the Jubaland talks and supporting their initiative.
Wacaal Media network