|Farah Sheikh Abdukadir and Ahmed Madobe shake on it, and bring Jubaland back into “Somalia”|
Jubaland consists, according to the new agreement, of the nominal Somalian gobols (regions, or provinces) of Gedo, Middle Jubba, and Lower Jubba. Madobe’s Ras Kamboni fighters helped troops from Kenya and Ethiopia, under an African Union (A.U.) mandate, liberate the Jubaland area last year from an al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist militia called al-Shabaab, which has since been dispersed into the hinterlands. Madobe then tried to set up a Puntland-style (see below) federal autonomous region in the south called Jubaland (also spelled Jubbaland, and sometimes also known as Azania or Greenland) but met with initial resistance from Mogadishu. (Jubaland was listed in this blog at the beginning of this year as one of “10 Separatist Movements to Watch in 2013.”)
|A Somali political cartoon addresses the controversy over recognition of Jubaland.|
(This is only one of several proposed Jubaland flags in circulation.)
Two days after the Jubaland deal, President Mohamoud said the federal administration was open to talks that would repair relations with the Puntland State of Somali, a de facto independent parliamentary republic at the tip of the Horn of Africa which announced last month it was formally severing all ties with the Mogadishu government (as reported at the time in this blog).
These two developments indicate the possibility of the northern and southern ends of “Somalia” being brought into the nominal federal fold—or perhaps even more than nominally. (Puntland is considered the northern end of Somalia only because Mogadishu has, despite official protests, in reality long resigned itself to the de facto secession of the internationally-unrecognized Republic of Somaliland, to Puntland’s west.) The Jubaland agreement, in particular, is being praised by the United Nations (U.N.), by the mostly pro-Mogadishu international community generally, and by the government of Puntland. But there may be associated tensions emerging in the nation’s middle section . . .
|Jubaland delegates at an annual Somalia conference in London. (This is another proposed Jubaland flag.)|
|Protesters ralied in Baidoa, Baay province, on August 31st.|
|Somali troops celebrating the taking of Kismayo from al-Shabaab in 2012|
[Also, for those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with a forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas. Look for it some time in 2013. I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]