By T. Roble
The U.S and UN have lashed out at President Mohamed Farmaajo for the deployment of troops in Gedo region terming it ‘a politically motivated offensive’ and demanded the withdrawal of the forces from the region.
In what is by far the sternest reproach against President Farmaajo, the U.S Mission to the UN and the UN chief in Somalia James Swan said the deployment was unacceptable and had led to tension in the region.
“The deployment of SNA troops to politically motivated offensive in Gedo in Jubbaland is unacceptable and diverts resources from agreed roadmap for security operations,” U.S Political Coordinator to the UN Rodney said.
END GEDO OFFENSIVE
Noting that the Somali government should be focused on combating Al-Shabaab instead of ‘engaging in armed conflict with each other to resolve political disputes,’ Rodney called on President Farmaajo to withdraw the troops from Gedo.
“We call on President Farmaajo to end the Somali National Army offensive in Gedo and for President Farmaajo and Jubbaland President Ahmed Madobe to each commit to dialogue and reconciliation.”
The UN also voiced similar concerns terming the deployment a source of instability. “We note recent security deployments in Jubbaland’s Gedo region have led instead to increased tension,” said Swan.
The remarks at the Security Council follows the deployment of hundreds of Somali National Army troops to areas in Gedo region following a spate between the Federal Government and Jubbaland State. The fugitive Jubbaland Security Minister Abdirashid’s Janan entry into the country from the Kenyan side early this month rattled Mogadishu leading to the deployment of the troops amid fears of a full-scale clash as Janan was reported to be massing up troops.
RESUMPTION OF SNA SUPPORT
The U.S rebuke, in particular, comes barely two weeks after it resumed support to the SNA following a suspension in December 2018 over corruption claims. While announcing the resumption, the US was categorical about the support.
“While these ongoing SNAF reforms are important, the United States will only continue support to SNAF operations that are focused on defeating terrorist organizations,” read a statement from the U.S embassy in Mogadishu.
In issuing the statement Monday, the U.S could further have been frustrated by the fact that Somalia still had marginal troops generation and that even that small number was used for political ends.
“Unfortunately, military operations have slowed since mid-2019 and force generation has, to date, not been sufficient for the tasks required in 2020, including priority operations against al-Shabaab and for re-opening Main Supply Routes,” Swan said.
The U.S echoed Swan’s remarks attributing the low troops’ generation to among others ‘resistance to reforms.’ “Limited resources, institutional challenges, and resistance to reforms continue to undermine Somalia’s ability to generate new forces and take on additional responsibility for security. It is imperative that the Federal Government work to address these challenges as soon as possible.”