Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islam, who was the leader of the Ras Kamboni Brigade— a paramilitary group in Kismayu— has been elected President of the new Jubaland State of Somalia.
A General Fartag from Gedi region was elected Vice President.
Sheikh Islam, popularly known as Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, was elected by a majority of community delegates at the Jubaland Constitutional Conference in Kismayu, a statement from Office of the President of Puntland said Wednesday.
“Puntland congratulates the people of Jubaland State and the new President-elect on organising a community-led consultative conference, adopting a new State Charter, and electing a new President today,” the statement said.
Puntland said the formation of Jubaland State was fully in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) of Somalia.
“Puntland calls upon the Somali Federal Government, Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, and the wider international community to recognise and cooperate with Jubaland State,” the statement added.
The Jubaland Initiative started in 2010 with an aim of establishing an autonomous region modelled along the lines of other autonomous regions such as Puntland and Somaliland.
At that point, Kenya was said to have shown support for the initiative in order to create a buffer zone between itself and Al-Shaabab insurgency in southern Somalia, a claim that it denies.
Ethiopia was on the other hand opposed to the plan as it would undermine its military offensive against the Ogaden rebels who are seeking independence.