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New Regional Bloc for Southern Somalia?
Maxamuud Seyyid Adan, Parliamentarian From Gedo, Says Discussions Underway
By HASHIM BARRE 07/27/2012
In order to learn more about the increased political tension in Somalia's Gedo region, a battle ground between the al-Shabaab Islamic militant group and allied government forces, Somalia Report spoke to Maxamuud Seyyid Adan, a parliamentarian from Gedo. In the exclusive interview, he also discussed his high level meetings with the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa (ASWJ) Chairman Sheikh Maxamed Maxamuud Yusuf (Awlibaax), which many believe may create a new regional bloc in southern Somalia once al-Shabaab is fully expelled from the region.

Thank you for giving this interview to Somalia Report. In your capacity as a parliamentarian from Gedo, can you tell us the political condition of the region today?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. The condition of the region is exceptionally remarkable and its worth mentioning that most of the region is now controlled by forces from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and that the people are no longer harassed by al-Shabaab.

There was a recent meeting between the politicians from the region spearheaded by you and the ASWJ Chairman Sheikh Maxamed Maxamuud Yusuf (Awlibaax). Please tell us what shaped the agenda of that meeting and what was the subject of discussion in relation to local politics.

There was a meeting between us and ASWJ officials, which was headed by the ASWJ chairman, and we discussed how to stabilize and unite people of Lower Jubba region as well as Gedo region in order to achieve a larger united regional bloc so as to realise its political and economic goals and the role we can play as leaders of the region.

What was the final agreement?

Although the agendas discussed were quite unfamiliar and different, we agreed that each party should study the other's agenda separately and look at the possibilities of its implementation. We agreed to raise the results in another meeting. Discussions will continue.

In your own opinion, is it possible for the formation of such a regional bloc?

Yes, it is possible to form a regional bloc, but that requires an extra commitment by all parties concerned and it can only be achieved when the leaders are united. It is after that time that we can unite the people of those regions and form a powerful regional administration.

What is the TFG's position in establishing a new regional administration?

This is just a proposal and I believe we shall have no problem with the TFG as long as we are working towards the achievement of a peaceful and prosperous nation, which is also the mandate of TFG. Moreover, we are also part of TFG and have faith in what we do provided that what we are doing does not undermine the security and our existence as a nation.

When is your next meeting due to be held and how far are the people in the region involved in this decision making process?

In fact, that is why we did not make decisions at this time. We need the input of the local residents because they are the greatest stakeholders in this process and I believe their views and ideas are highly appreciated, regardless of its outcome.

How are you going to involve them in your meeting?

We are going to organise public awareness meetings in all towns across the region and inform people about what was discussed in this meeting and leave them to decide the fate of their region.

Any final word to conclude the interview?

I urge the people of Gedo region to unite and stand firm so as to bring peace and harmony to their region as well as the entire country. Together we can make a tangible difference both politically and economically.