By Drazen Jorgic

MOGADISHU-Somalia’s government is expected to recognize a former Islamist warlord it had opposed as interim leader of a strategic port city, diplomats said, defusing a crisis over rival claims to the post that had raised fears of a return to clan warfare.

The threat of the kind of clan fighting that over two decades tore Somalia apart has hung over Kismayu since Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, was chosen by a regional assembly to lead Jubaland and its port in May.

The fate of Kismayu and the surrounding region in southern Somalia has been seen as a litmus test of whether the government can manage a federal state and cement a fragile peace in place since African peacekeeping troops drove out Islamist militants.

Western and regional diplomats, all with a close knowledge of Somalia and the workings of its government, told Reuters that Mogadishu had changed tack and was resigned to having the Ras Kamboni leader stay in charge, but on an interim basis.

“They recognize that they have to deal with Madobe,” said one senior Western diplomat.

Regional capitals and Western donors are nervous about any reversal of delicate security gains made in Somalia by African troops fighting against the al Qaeda-linked militants, seen as a threat to stability in the region and beyond.

Central government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said Mogadishu, which had widely been seen to back another candidate, was ready for a deal but it had not decided on who it would be.

“We are willing to compromise provided that the legality, the constitution, and the federal institution and mandate is protected,” he said, adding senior government officials were in Kismayu for negotiations with the rival parties.

Even with the regional leader title, Madobe will only really control Kismayu and its immediate surrounds because al Shabaab Islamist militants still control much of Jubaland’s countryside.


Dozens of people have been killed in Kismayu since May in sporadic clashes between Madobe’s Ras Kamboni militia, opposed by the central government, and fighters loyal to Barre Hirale, another former warlord seen as having Mogadishu’s backing.

Rival clans want control of port taxes, valuable charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports.

If a deal is struck, one government source said the interim administration would be in place for up to a year before a vote.

The situation has been complicated because of ambiguity over how Somalia, including its break-away regions, will be governed as a federation and because Mogadishu has little leverage as its poorly paid and trained security forces cannot impose control.

“Acknowledging that Madobe is the de facto leader in charge of an interim Jubaland administration would be pragmatic,” said Matt Bryden, a director of Sahan Research think-tank who previously coordinated a U.N. monitoring report on Somalia.

“The government can’t afford to become embroiled in this,” he said. “It doesn’t have the time, the resources or sufficient influence in Jubaland.”

Madobe was a governor of Kismayu during an administration that was routed by Ethiopian forces sent into Somalia between 2006-2009 with tacit U.S. backing.

The European Union’s top Africa official, Nicholas Westcott, said it was vital for a deal to improve security in Jubaland, a region which some analysts fear could otherwise break away.

“If Somalia is fragmented it will never be in position to develop or resolve all the conflicts,” Westcott said.




  1. LET the people rule themselves establsih local authority within federal system which serves all Somalis where they are or live in Somalia. if that does not happen Somalia will become five different countries.

    Jubbaland will always rule Majority inhabitant. VILLA MORYAAN should be busy how to stop bomb explosions in Mogadishu.

  2. Breaking news: There is a war happening in Kismanyo between Madoobe on one side and all the other self-appointed presidents on one side. It looks like all the other presidents' militias are fighting in unisom against Madoobe in this current war.

    It's even getting stranger as the comander of the government forces in the region was jailed by the Kenyan forces today, according to Hiiraan online.

    • no surprise really Kenya wants Jubaland up and running so the Kenyans could go ahead and build their super-port and road near the Somalia border to service Uganda and Ethiopia trade.

      Last thing Kenyans needs are a bunch of Somalis running around the area near the border.

  3. Hargaisaawi, chill out.

    Yes, there is small war going on in kismayo all warlords will be flash out soon. this war it's not between community reside in jubbaland but it's between Jubbaland admin arm forces with mix clans and warlords+ ALshabab backed by villa Moryaan.

    In FACT Colonel Abbas was saved by the UNISOM kenyan and Sarrie leon forces station in kismayo since his place was storm Jubaland arm forces to capture.

  4. Madoobe and his militia must be kicked out of Kismayo. Kenyans must leave Kismaayo as well. Jubaland natives must take arms against the immigrants of Daroods. They must free themselves from this filthy immigrants. How come Kismaayo become an encalve of Ogaadeens and Majeerteenis. That should not happen at any rate.

    • Kuluc-kuku,

      85% PEOPLE reside in upper jubba, lower jubba and middle jubba are DAROOD. probably your chewing too much Mirra do your calculation and your figures right.

  5. Could Mogadishu’s change of heart towards madobe’s interim governor be too little too late? SFG got the Genie (warlords) out of bottle and maybe impossible to put it back again.
    I see the return of the time of warlords in the regions.
    There is a Somali saying “don’t dig a hole too deep you might fall in”
    I think that is what they have done exactly!

  6. the Taliban to the Afghan Govt, if the SFG fails to resolve the Kismaayu conflict
    created by the KDF supporting Jubaland annexation to Kenya, the Alshabab fighters would
    not allow such belligerent illegal occupation of the NFD Absame supported by the Kenyan Govt.
    Kismaayu and all Jubaland Regions must come under the direct control of the SFG…period.
    Ahmed Madoobe has no mandate and should surrender to the powers of the SFG.

    • WHETHER AL-SHABAB comes this area or not , the people of Jubbaland will lead themselves not Moryaan or diluted low IQ folks.

      It's not about Hon PRESIDENT Ahmed Mohamed Islam, it;s about jubbaland inhabitant VS Moryaan. we know the outcome of this. victory will always be the side of Jubbaland inhabitant.

    • Just can't tell the difference between the KDF and the R@sta…all are Ahmed Madoobe
      and Absame NFD Darodism brands.

  7. This picture shows that these war mongers whoever they are or belong to they are all fighting power and to take good bit of everything which should be shared by Somalis. Just look at them apart from Rasta appearance they are all well fed themselves , while women and children are hungery in Somalia. Shame on you !

  8. And they are trying to convince us that no ONLF Rastafarian's are fighting alongside the Rastraitors Ps there is no deal.

    Kismayo right now is being fought tooth and nail between Marehaan Cawramale Gaaljecel & Sheekhaal united under Barre Hiiraale vs the Rastraitors/Harti/some marehaan and Kenya through their artillery.

    Barre keeps whopping these Rastraitors making them flood into the airport and port controlled by their Kikuyu masters for protection from annihilation.

    Then the Rastraitors regroup and with the help of their Kikuyu's help who bombard the positions of Barre's men forcing them to retreat retake their positions only to lose again once the artillery goes silent

    This fight is no longer between individuals but the indigenous Kismayans vs the foreigners the battle would of been finished longtime ago but the Kenyan muscle is making it that little bit harder.

    What happened to the Habashis in Mogadishu will be waiting for the Raskikuyu in Kismayo with Barre calling for Jihad on the Kikuyu if they keep interfering.

  9. Ras Kamboni ain't alone they have Maharens, ASWJ,harti, jarrere wyn and many more. All the SFG has is washed out useless Maharen warlord Hiirale and few other even weaker warlords, mixed in with the Al shaytan. Three times they have tried and three times they have failed. Every time they failed what does the SFG do. They call for the end of hostilties and whine like little girls. Soon they will given no choice except Jubbaland State or except Jubbaland distnces itself from the SFG all together, you know what that means. The SFg will going to Turkey again, or everything will collapse and civil war starts another 22yrs, hmm sound good does it.