Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Puntland Now Backs Rival “South-Western State” in Somalia’s Jubaland Area

The government of the de facto independent but nominally unionist Puntland State of Somalia recently switched its support to a proposed South-Western State consisting of three regions in the mostly lawless far-south of the “Federal Republic of Somalia.”  Earlier, Puntland had supported the ambitions of another autonomous state, Jubaland, to win approval from the internationally recognized central government in Mogadishu for a legitimate autonomous territory—a status which Puntland enjoys.  (The proposed flag of South-Western State is pictured on the wall in the upper right of the above photograph.)

The March 31st statement read, “Puntland government conveys warm congratulations to Southwest State of Somalia’s people on their role in crowning an autonomous state,” and added that Puntland “fully supports the formation and the development of southwest state of Somalia.”  Jubaland has also been supported by the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya, two major foreign players in southern Somalia’s seemingly endless civil war against the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists of al-Shabaab.

Jubaland (which has at times also been called Azania and Greenland) claims Lower Juba, Middle Juba, and Gedo, three of Somalia’s 18 official regions.  South-Western State would include these as well as Bay, Bakool, and Lower Shebelle and would have a capital at the inland city of Baidoa, not the fiercely fought-over harbor city of Kismayo, which serves as Jubaland’s capital.  (The eight northernmost of the 18 regions are governed by two de facto independent “autonomous states”—Puntland and Galmudug—and by the fully independent but internationally unrecognized Republic of Somaliland.)  Somalia is currently in the beginning stages of a transition to a new system of federal states, but even their boundaries have not been agreed upon.

Madoobe Nunow Mohamed may one day take the reins
of power as president of South-West State of Somalia.
The administration of Jubaland bristles at South-Western’s aspirations, however.  A Jubaland government spokesman said last month that Jubaland officials “consider that administration illegal and its founders went beyond the constitution.” The spokesman accused Madoobe Nunow Mohamed, the recently elected “president” of South-West, of “fomenting violence since Jubaland enjoys wider recognition.”

Even true love doesn’t last forever.
[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 mid 2014.  I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]


  1. Are you sura that Kenya supports Jubaland?
    The opposite would be logical... since Al Shahaab is a problem for norther Kenya.

  2. Good question. But it depends which Jubaland faction. Some regard the Ras Kamboni faction as only marginally better than the truly al-Shabaab-friendly factions, but I think Kenya would like some kind of stable buffer state between it and the truly lawless areas in southern Somalia. The Nairobi shopping-mall attack has made them feel less conciliatory, and no one's sure whether Mogadishu's new experiment in federalism will work, so all the alignments could change very quickly from here on out.

  3. also few news come from that somaliland country in northern somalia...are they keeping their institutu\ions and own economy+++


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon