|Southwestern State of Somalia
Koonfur-Galbeed Soomaaliya (SO)
|Unrecognized state of Somalia|
|-||Established||1 April 2002|
Southwestern Somalia (Somali: Koonfur-Galbeed Soomaaliya), also known as the South West State of Somalia, was an autonomous self-proclaimed state in Somalia founded by Hasan Muhammad Nur Shatigadud, leader of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) on 1 April 2002.
The territory was officially known as the Southwestern State of Somalia (SWS) (Somali: Dowlad Goboleedka Koonfur-Galbeed ee Soomaaliya), and intended to consist of six Somali administrative regions (gobolka): Bay, Bakool, Middle Juba (Jubada Dhexe), Lower Shabelle (Shabeelada Hoose), Gedo and Lower Juba (Jubada Hoose) regions. The establishment of the autonomous state was a move to show the disaffection of the RRA with the nascent Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government (TNG), and an act to counter the influence of the Somalia Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC) in the same regions. In 2005, the state was officially dissolved after its leader Shatigadud had joined the Transitional Federal Parliament in November 2004 and later became Minister of Finance in January 2005 in the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the TNG's successor.
In December 2013, a convention began in Baidoa between Federal Government officials and local representatives with the aim of establishing an autonomous state in the area under the Provision Federal Constitution. Two simultaneous political processes for the establishment of a new Southwestern State of Somalia were underway: one led by former Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, which proposed a three region state consisting of the Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle provinces; another led by traditional elders of Digil Mirifle, which proposed instead the re-establishment of a six region Southwestern Somalia state consisting of the Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, Gedo, Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba provinces.
On 3 March 2014, Madobe Nunow was elected President by supporters of the six region state proposal. Internal and Federal Affairs Minister Abdullahi Godah Barre indicated that the Somali federal government would not recognize the six region convention outcome, as it contravenes an earlier Jubba agreement signed in Addis Ababa between the Somali federal authorities and the autonomous Jubaland administration in southwestern Somalia. The Jubba agreement stipulates that Jubaland's constituent provinces are instead to be officially administered by the Jubaland regional authorities. Addressing the 425th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on 25 March 2014, UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay similarly indicated that he would continue to work closely with the AU, EU and IGAD to support a Somali federal government-led three-region state formation process for the southwestern provinces.
On 27 March 2014, 733 delegates in Baidoa representing the Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions elected Mohamed Haji Abdinur as president of the Southwestern State of Somalia. Abdinur is a veteran politician and a close ally of former Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan. Of the representatives that took part in the three-region state elections, 723 voted in favor of Abdinur while 10 abstained.
On 30 March 2014, President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited Baidoa to defuse political tension between the two competing Southwestern State delegations. The autonomous Puntland regional administration in northeastern Somalia issued a statement the following day congratulating Abdinur on his election as president of the Southwestern State. The Puntland State House also expressed support for the three-region state process in Baidoa, and indicated that the Puntland authorities were prepared to provide technical and experience-related assistance to the nascent federal state.
On 22 June 2014, the federal government concluded its mediation between the supporters of the parallel three-region and six-region processes for a new Southwestern State of Somalia. Wings from both sides had reportedly reached an agreement on the prospective regional state's formation. On 23 June 2014, the office of Federal Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari hosted an event announcing the merger of the two competing administrations into a single three-region state, which is to be composed of the Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle provinces.
On 23 June 2014, President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari oversaw an official ceremony in Mogadishu marking the merger of the two competing administrations into a single three-region state, which is to be composed of the Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle provinces. The pact stipulates that the new polity will be led by an Interim South West Administration consisting of representatives from both sides. According to an official press communique, the opposing sides are slated to form a thirteen-member technical committee, appointing five members apiece to the body alongside three members selected by the Federal Government. The panel is then within ten days scheduled to prepare a roadmap for the interim administration's formation. Additionally, the Federal Government is slated to facilitate consultations between the Interim South West Administration and Jubaland over mutual concerns and interests. The UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Mission Commission for Somalia Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and the U.S. Special Representative for Somalia James P. McAnulty all welcomed the Southwestern State of Somalia agreement, commended the principals on their constructive consultations, acknowledged the Federal Government's key role in facilitating the talks, and pledged to continue supporting the local post-conflict reconstruction process. On 25 June 2014, the federal Cabinet unanimously approved the signed accord.
On 16 July 2014, the establishment of the Technical Committee on Formation of Interim South West Administration was announced and endorsed at a formal ceremony in Mogadishu. The panel is to be supported by a group of federal ministers under the authority of the Prime Minister.
In September 2014, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari and UN Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay visited Baidoa to finalize talks over the South West state's formation. Jawari subsequently announced that a reconciliation conference would be held in the city on 14 September to formally unify the competing three-region and six-region local administrations. Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed officially opened the summit, which was attended by Lower Shabelle, Bay and Bakool provincial representatives, clan elders and politicians.
In 2014, the reconstituted Southwestern State of Somalia inaugurated a new regional state flag.
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