THE PRESS RELEASE
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To: Whom it may concern
Subject: PRESS RELEASE
The Council of Traditional Elders of Digil & Mirifle Community, representing the indigenous inhabitants of the Southwest regions of Somalia, has organized an urgent consultative meeting in the city of Baidoa with the political, religious and civil society representatives of the community regarding the land grabbing agreement in Addis Ababa between Hawiye tribe dominated delegation of the Federal Government and Raskamboni militia group on the future of part of our ancestral land. The meeting was called for in order to state our position on the circumstances surrounding the negotiations that were held in Addis Ababa between 20th – 27thAugust 2013 and the eventual agreement that the aforementioned parties reached.
Cognizant of the fact that the Raskamboni is clan-based terror group alien to Kismayo and the government delegation was composed of only one clan under the banner of the Federal government to the exclusion of the genuine stakeholders; and that both parties harbor similar agendas namely exploiting the resources of these regions at the expense and against the will of the local communities.
Considering the illegal and unethical basis of the agreement on the fate of Jubba Regions and the fact that signatories are no shape or form representative of the genuine stakeholders and inhabitants in those regions.
Confirming that genuine stakeholders such as Digil & Mirifle, Jareerweyne, Banadiri, Baajuun and Awrmale were deliberately excluded from both delegations in order to avoid real bargaining with the genuine inhabitants and make the deal smoothly convenient.
Assuring that the Addis agreement is groundwork for another round of civil war in the regions southern Somalia whose residents were historically subjugated to occupation, human rights abuses and crimes against humanity such as the famous man made famine in 1991 which claimed 300,000 lives.
The Council of Traditional Elders of the Digil & Mirifle considers the Addis Ababa agreement between the Federal government representatives and Raskamboni militia group as a collaborative Hawiye-Darod master plan ,which aims to:
1. Legitimize the historical genocide against the Digil & and Mirifle communities (1991 man-made famine) and the eventual atrocities which the current supporters the warlord Ahmed Madobe and his Daarood clan militia committed against the unarmed civilians in the six regions which they invaded and captured in 1990s. The agreement also legitimizes the human rights violations that Hawiye tribe militiamen led by General Aideed committed during their invasion and occupation of SouthWest regions from 1995 to 1999.
2. Provide legal justifications for the land grabbers and crowns invaders for the leadership of 3 regions of our original 6 regions which the land grabbers invaded and the human rights abuses they subjected to the communities in the regions.
3. Neglect our calls to end the past and the ongoing human rights violations committed by the Raskamboni militia and all the dominant clans that came to the regions through invasion.
Therefore, all 41 members of the Council of Traditional Elders of Digil & Mirifle unanimously agreed that :
1. The Addis Ababa negotiations between the Raskamboni militia and the Federal government and the eventual agreement clauses are ‘Null and Void; thus, the genuine communities in the six regions do not recognize the outcome.
2. All the land grabbing operatives, clan militiamen and warlords should stop the human rights abuses they commit against the peoples of the regions and we call for their return to their regions in Kenya, Ethiopia and Central Somalia. Both Raskamboni militia and the Federal government representatives are considered in the regions as Persona Non-grata.
3. The Federal Government has lost its legitimacy to represent the people of Lower Shabelle, Lower Jubba, middle Jubba, Gedoa, Bay and Bakol regions following the illegal recognition of the invading groups as legitimate representatives of oppressed majority in those areas, and the Digil and Mirifle community fully withdraw their representatives from the government.
4. All Digil & Mirifle representatives should suspend their relations with the Federal Government institutions and come to Baidoa within 72 hours time in order to discuss the future salvation of the our occupied regions.
5. The United Nations, the African Union, IGAD, AMISOM and other international actors are urged to avoid dealing with the occupation tribal militiamen in Kismayo and any where in the six regions and we also urge them to contact only the genuine representatives of the communities in these regions who represent the interest of the above mentioned regions.
Finally, the Digil & Mirifle community condemns the contents of Addis Ababa agreement in its entirety and its signatories. We assure the international community that any attempt to recognize the invaders as legitimate residents of the regions will result in bloodshed in the regions.
Digil & Mirifle is prepared to defend its people and protect in its territorial regions and stand for their rights, and will take up arms against illegitimate land grabbers. We call these invaders to leave our regions peacefully to avoid internecine war for our people are ready to liberate their regions from the alien occupation militiamen.
Malaaq Ali Abdirahman Ahmed (Malaaq Shiino)
The Spokesman of Council of Digil & Mirifle Traditional Elders