In the next 14 days, Somalia’s semi autonomous region Jubbaland will have a new president, as campaigns intensify ahead of the most anticipated polls.
Nairobi and Washington DC could be monitoring the polls, hoping that the fierce leader of Ras Kamboni Brigade, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, will be re-elected again.
Since 2011, KDF troops and US forces operating in Somalia, have relied on Ras Kamboni Brigade to launch an effective fight against Al-Shabaab militants.
In return, Sheikh Ahmed has turned out to be one of the most protected leaders in Somalia, with KDF special forces often guarding his movements.
But a spirited campaign of Abdinasir Seraar, his former lieutenant at the Ras Kamboni Brigade, threatens to end his reign, which has after all contributed to stability.
Seraar, who is currently enjoying protection from over 1,000 soldiers, is said to be enjoying backing from Mogadishu, with President Mohamed Farmaajo said to be against Madobe.
Other presidential hopefuls are the Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation in the Federal government Mohamed Omar and Mohamed Dahir Marsheye who once worked with the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Early this month, Jubbaland elders chairman Hussein Mahamud Qorane accused the president of failing to protect the state from Shabaab militants.
Garad Ali Garaad, another influential elder, said a regime change is necessary “in order to open Jubbaland to development”.
Elders from Jubbaland will select 225 people from which the commission shall have 75 MPs who will chose the President of the regional government.
The polls will have a significant impact on Kenya’s war against Al-Shabaab. The polls will take place amid proposals by Nairobi to have Al-Shabaab listed as a terrorist group.