August 11, 2019 KISMAYO (RBB NEWS) – A section of elders in Jubbaland has petitioned the United Nations to intervene in the ongoing political stalemate ahead of the state parliamentary and presidential elections.
The elders calling themselves Jubbaland Council of Elders (JCE) in a letter Saturday appealed to the UN Chief in Somalia James Swan to urgently step in to ‘avoid delays and and deterioration of the situation’.
The elders who claimed were duly registered by the Federal Government and mandated to participate in the selections of MPs lashed at the State electoral body accusing it of corrupting the electoral process and bias.
The pleas by the JCE come barely a day after the international community in Somalia led by the UN warned the poll slated for later this month risked lack of legitimacy.
Swan called on the Jubbaland Independent and Boundaries Commission Electoral (JIEBC) Friday to clarify the electoral formula noting it lacked transparency and could disadvantage some presidential candidates.
Preparations for elections of new parliament and president in Jubbaland have been adversely marred by disputes among different factions amid perceived influence from the federal government and neighboring countries.
Seen as a critical region both by the Federal Government and neighboring countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, Jubbaland has become a political battlefield in what observers warn could destabilize the southern Somali state.
Villa Somalia is keen on having its preferred candidate dethrone the incumbent Ahmed Madobe months after it successfully pushed for the election of Abdiasis Hassan Mohamed in South West State.
In the letter Saturday, the JCE also accused the Jubbaland administration of intentions to ‘manipulate and rig the elections’.
The elders also appealed for security of the elders noting one of their own had been assassinated late July.