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Somalia Report recently interviewed Somali-Danish citizen Dr. Ahmed Farah Dualeh, the president of Jubbaland (Jubaland) state of Somalia, which was recently established in the United States amid reports of a six-region plan endorsed by the Ethiopian government. Azania, which is backed by Kenya, already claimed their administration as as the only legitimate and legal entity which can represent the people in the same regions.
Thank you, Dr Ahmed Farah, for this exclusive interview. As the president of Jubbaland State of Somalia, what has caused to you to establish this administration at this time?
Firstly, thank you very much. I appreciate your effort acknowledge Somalia Report’s effort an ensuring that truthful information reaches the people. Secondly, I started to think of it in 2006 when I was in Denmark, where I lived for 30 years, when I saw the prolonged problems which the people in these regions are facing including civil insecurity. This has caused to me to ask myself what has caused this problem. Is there a solution for it? Who is behind these problems? I reached two conclusions:
1) The absence of viable functioning administration triggered by poor leadership
2) 'Brain drain' because the educated people in these region fled the area, which leads to the drawback and lack of development in this region.
Everyone who has declared a regional administration says the same thing so what distinction do you have?
The moment you think of making an administration, there are basic elements that needs to noted like those I said. Other key points to be mentioned are that the administration should be inclusive of all the community who are the residents of these regions in order to achieve political power sharing balance among the various clans. So our distinction from the others is that our administration is inclusive of all the clans in the region and that why while we are only two months old we enjoyed massive support from the people in these regions.
Most of the regional administration in Somalia have been established outside Somalia so what is restricting you from leaving Kenya, consulting with elders and other key decision makers in order to establish viable and workable administration?
For security purpose we were not able to access these regions, hold meeting there, and finally form our administration so we opted to declare this regional administration outside the country. Our difference from the other regions declared outside Somalia is that I have not appointed my cabinet so far and this because I know, without having consulting the local people, it will be a unilateral decision if I appoint them.
There are many people from Jubbaland in Kenya, some of them are key figures who can influence your decisions. Have you met with them, and if so what have you agreed upon?
I met with elders from the region initially when I arrived here and I am still meeting with other people in the region individually and in groups and this is still ongoing. I am willing to see, meet and discuss with any one from these regions.
Your administration is new. Did you seek recognition or explain its existence to Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG)?
The elders I met here in Nairobi will take the agenda of this administration to Mogadishu and ask the TFG to recognize this administration since they are the true representative of community. We are planning to establish contact with TFG and ask recognition. We will assure our full cooperation with the TFG our administration will work to bring peace to the whole of Somalia.
Several administrations (and mini-states) have been declared in Somalia over the past years. How optimistic are you that the TFG will grant recognition to your administration?
I think the TFG have a responsibility to bring back law and order in Somalia, so if set up an administration which is committed to create peace and stability in these regions, I think the TFG will accept and I do not see why the government should have any negative attitude towards this agenda. The elders are the true representative of the community and I do not think their appeal will be boycotted by the government.
You now appear on the Somali political stage, which side are you allied with?
Politics is a chain and alliances changes on regular basis so our policy will be based on cooperation in order to maintain the overall security of the Horn of Africa regions. Jubbaland is situated in a very strategic place and shares common borders with both Kenya and Ethiopia, so it is the interest of the governments and the populations of these countries to develop mutual understanding on issues of security and other key aspects affecting them.
Every regional administration has its own armed forces. Are you planning to have forces loyal to Jubaland?
Those who are now operating in the Juba regions are the forces of the Jubbaland administration, whether they belong to certain clan or belong to the TFG they will be under our command because they are from the people of Jubbaland. It may sound very strange to you but everything will become clear when we reach the country.
The Kenyan government is supporting Azania in Juba region while Ethiopia has plan of establishing a South West state administration. How is it possible that you can influence the ongoing politics?
Personally I do not believe that Kenya is now supporting Azania because it failed to become a state at country level and international level. I have relations with the Kenyan government and also received invitation from the Ethiopian officials and I believe we will have good start of relationship with both countries.
You are welcome.