A new joint committee formed by Somali government that aims to integrate two neighbouring regions in Somalia has sparked controversy as elders from the two regions opposed the initiative.
Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has earlier affirmed that his government was committed in the formation of an inter-regional state for Hiiraan and its neigboring Middle Shabelle regions.
However, lawmakers and elders from the two regions have opposed the move, saying the scenario would further polarize the two regions along clan lines.
Political analysts also predicted complex political challenges ahead should the government goes ahead with its decision of forming an administration at the present time due to clans mistrust and rivalry.
Despite the new political exercise, there have been no consensuses from clans who inhabit the two regions to have one administration for the two regions.
In addition to that, political analysts predict hardnosed political challenges to move ahead with the decision of formation of administration at the present time due to clans’ mistrusts and rivalry, echoing assertions by the former Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who stated that Hiiraan region would solely come under the control of the government, dismissing suggestions of merging it with Middle Shabelle region.
Some of the key political arguments being raised by politicians from the regions include which region would be the regional capital if the two regions were merged as one state and how the two sides would share the government.
The apparent political rivalry would further chip away at the government’s efforts to bring the two sides on the table to neutralize their political tensions.
The two regions’ clans unambiguously have clear interests in certain political outcomes, rather than compatible opinions and action, Reflecting on the apparent challenges standing in the way of the government’s efforts to merge them.
However, political observers believe that forming an administration for the two regions at this time would encourage creating more autonomous regions operating outside the government’s control, development that may perhaps reverse recent security and political gains by the government.