1. Jubaland is headed to the polls in August (24th August)
2. The outcome of this forthcoming Jubaland election is crucial for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region which has over the years experienced turbulent times especially arising from terrorist attacks by the Al Shabab militant group
3. Incumbent Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Islam popularly known as Madobe or Blackie who fairly won the seat in 2013 is tipped to also win the 2019 elections.
4. Madobe is facing 8 other opponents
5. His re-election is critical as he is considered one of the key regional figures that represent law and order
6. During his first term, Madobe led the Somali forces to recapture Kismayo from Al-Shabaab.
7. Throughout his term he has remained a formidable force against the militants and his countrymen see him as the beacon of hope for victory against the forces of terrorism.
8. Once re-elected Madobe has promised to continue pursuing the islamist militants and to also put an end to youth radicalization
9. Madobe’s re-election is therefore seen as the only guarantee for Sustainable peace not only in Jubaland, but also in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia which have suffered terrorist attacks and continued youth radicalization by Al Shabaab.
10. Madobe is a scion of the Ogaden sub-clan and has been endorsed by both Ogaaden and Marehan and Ogaden elders, including the Awilyahan, Abduwak and Abdalla.
11. However, Somali President Mohamed Farmajo, is actively mobilizing Marehan elders along clan lines to defeat Madobe. This strategy is however flopping.
12. America’s role in the coming regional presidential election in Jubaland is seen as playing along with Mogadishu’s dangerous game of weaponizing terrorism.
13. America has refused to list Al-Shabaab as a terrorist group, and its embassies in Nairobi and Mogadishu seem to be caving in to pressure by its right wing scholars to negotiate with terrorists, including the al-Shabaab
14. Therefore, far from aiding the search for regional peace, America seems to be presiding over a slow motion train wreck inside Somalia.
15. There are also questions why America pushed for the release of Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi, a key figure in Al-Shabaab’s intelligence wing (Amnyat) captured by KDF IN Ged, as it defeats logic.
16. Only a few years ago, Zakariya Hersi was a mastermind of deadly terrorist attacks including Uganda (2010) Westgate; now he heads Somalia’s security operations
17. Kenya KDF peacekeepers are victims of a new scramble of Jubaland, Somalia’s richest federal state endowed with fertile farmlands, rich grazing fields, a long and beautiful coastline rich with marine resources and pristine white sandy beaches for tourists.