Hiiraan elders reject inter-regional state formation deal with govt

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BELEDWEYNE (HMC) – Elders in the central Somali region of Hiiraan backed down a recent endorsement for Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions inter-regional formation, raising prospects of fresh feud and conflict related to the initiative being pushed by the Somali president.

DACAROOW

A faction of the region’s elders agreed on Tuesday to attend the planned inter-regional Hiiraan and Shabelle regions state formation conference which is to be held in Jowhar, the regional capital of Lower Shabelle region, sources said.

However, the elders’ chairperson Da’ar  Hirsi Nur dismissed the legitimacy of the endorsement, saying, the president has secured an ‘inconclusive’ endorsement from ‘rogue’ elders who  do’ ‘not
represent’ the region’s traditional elders, leaving behind the 63-member of the region’s elders  board.

“The president told the region’s communities that his trip was all about solving tribal conflicts, and that he would hold further consultation talks with us, but we have not attended those talks.” He told BBC Somali service Saturday.

No comment could be reached from Somali government on the development which underscores challenges facing its efforts aimed at spreading the new federalism system initiative across the country.

Political analysts have earlier pointed out complexities surrounding the state’s formation process, given lack of consensus, mistrust and rivalry among clans in the two regions.

Hiiraan elders have earlier set tough terms on their endorsement for the formation of an inter-regional state with its neighbouring Middle Shabelle region, demanding that their region’s capital be picked as
the proposed state’s capital and conference’s venue, a proposal dismissed by its neighbouring region.

Despite challenges on the conference’s venue and power sharing arrangements, political observers say the development would further chip away at the government’s efforts to bring the two sides on the
table to neutralize their political tensions if not handled well..