The most interesting thing to come out of the wikileaks stuff, at least as far as eastern Africa is concerned, is the story on Kenya’s proposed strategy of dealing with the state collapse in neighboring Somalia. According to the leak, Kenyan security chiefs are considering the creation of an autonomous buffer region in Jubaland – the area of Somalia that borders Kenya – kind of like the ones in Somaliland and Puntland. The capital of the autonomous buffer region would be in Kismayu.
Kenya has a sizeable Muslim Somali population and is afraid of fundamentalist Islamism on its doorstep in a lawless Somalia. A stable buffer region in Jubaland would guard against radicalisation of Kenya’s Somali youth in the northeast, on top of checking the proliferation of small arms in the country.
Kenya also might be thinking long term. A divided Somalia guarantees less chances of success for a greater Somalia irredentist movement if peace ever descends upon the entire country.
Ethiopia is not a fun of the idea. The last thing Addis Ababa wants is an autonomous region that can fund Somali separatists in the Ogaden. The region would also have a demonstration effect on Ogadeni Ethiopians who for decades now have fought for real political and economic autonomy from Addis Ababa.
I don’t think this is a bad idea. At this point anything that would bring order to any region of Somalia is acceptable. I have argued before that the Union of Islamic Courts should have been allowed to establish order and then bought off with aid in exchange for a more sober interpretation and application of Sharia law. The whole debate about how bad they were for women’s rights was horse manure. The Saudis aren’t any better.
Regarding Ethiopia’s concerns, Meles and his men should not export their Ogadeni conflict just as much as they do not want Somali warlords to export their own civil war. The rebellions against Addis in Oromoland and the Ogaden are partly due to Zenawi’s stranglehold on power and the faux-ethnic federalism that currently exists in Ethiopia. More on this soon.
APOLO you are absolutely right,and kenya should support jubaland for NOT security reasons only…the whole jubaland is interconnected with kenyan economically,and most of the somali diaspora see jubaland as place that they can invest on,jubaland has two rivers and fertile soil,kenya should have done this for 20 years ago…NO it should have done this when kenya become independent,WE have lot in comen with kenya…and if ethiopia is against JUBALAND why is she supporting barre hiiraale who waged war FROM ETHIOPIA on bulo hawo in gedo region just 3 weeks ago? they are NOT against jubaland…they want jubaland under there CONTROL…why? i tell you why just email me,and thanks for your wonderful article.
For all I know Kenya is almost a failed state that doesn’t have the financial and intellectual capacity to carry such a sophisticated geopolitical game. The particular region Kenya is talking about is and has been under the control of Alshabab for atleast two years now.
On the other hand, If Jubaland succeeds into becoming a viable semi autonomous region,you can be sure that fellow Ogadenians from Ethiopia and Kenya who belong to this 15M people ethnic group would agitate for similar provision in their own countries. By empowering Ogadenians one side of the border and trying to subjugate those within ur borders doesn’t sound like an inspired political strategy.
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Rhamy don’t be stupid you know that Kenya is the only life line we gott in that region and NAIROBI is the capital of every black person on this universe …and yes there are ogadenis in Kenya BUT you don’t see Kenyan ONLF like they do in your home country Ethiopia…why? because there is something called democracy in Kenya…i was actually hoping to discuss the true agenda of the Ethiopian regime in private with opalo BUT know that you Ethiopians are waging “info war” I will say it publicly …rhamy as you put it like your Ethiopian leader that “doesn’t have the financial and intellectual capacity to carry such a sophisticated geopolitical game ” then why is Ethiopia supporting the Barre Hiiraale who want to create a jubaland state and attacked bulo hawo from Ethiopia just weeks ago? cant answer it..i tell you why you Ethiopians think that they are smart…that they are above then rest of Africa…what you Ethiopians want is that a creation of jubaland by a warlord that you control like barre hiiraale and use kismayo port as tool to blackmail Kenya for its largest project ever the lamu port and rail way system …you want to access lamu port and the railway but only the price “you want” and not the actual cost…and HOW do you do that? yes you put in charge in jubaland a puppet warlord you control ..and threaten the east Africa’s largest project THE LAMU PORT…we Somalis have a lot in common with Kenya and as soon as somalia distance itself from Ethiopia_Eritrea quagmire war is the better…and rhamy there is ONE thing you should KNOW …and that is the Kenyans and Somalis are smarter then the Ethiopians whose average IQ is just 63 …keep fighting Eritrea and stay away from the BIG ECONOMIC REVOLUTION THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE EAST AFRICA ps the Defense minister of Kenya is OGADEN hahahaaaa
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