Somalia: Speaker 'answers clan elders' ultimatum'

Mohamed Osman Jawari

He might be Somalia's parliamentary speaker but Mohamed Osman Jawari still has to answer to his clan elders, it seems.

Jawari led a delegation to Baydhabo, capital of the south-western Bay Region, after he and fellow members of the Rahanweyn clan in parliament were given a two-day "ultimatum" from elders, reports the Somaaljecel website. It seems Digil and Mirifle people, who make up the Rahanweyn, are unhappy about an agreement the government signed over the administration of the country's south. Leaders of the minority clans are opposed to former Islamist commander Sheikh Ahmed Madobe being given control of the Juba and Gedo regions, according to the private Dhacdo website.

African Union forces beefed up security ahead of Jawari's visit, in light of recent anti-government protests in Baydhabo. Despite this, Somaaljecel says, the speaker and his delegation were given a warm welcome. Somalia has been plagued by clan rivalries for decades and rivals in the south compete for access to the country's most fertile land. The administrative changes are part of renewed international efforts to bring stability and security to the country, large areas of which remain under the control of Islamist al-Shabab militants.

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