•Between October and December 2020, there were several high level meetings held in Mogadishu.
•They were attended by leaders within the Degodia community as well as FGS officials.
While the Somali government has been vocal in accusing Kenya of interference in its internal affairs, it is now emerging that it is actually Somalia that is actively sponsoring secession of some communities in Northern Kenya.
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) with the guidance of their Intelligence Chief has been propping up the Degodia community in Kenya’s Northern Eastern Region to lead the calls for secession from Kenya. Under the guise of uniting Kenyan and Somali Degodia, the FGS has organized various forums in Kenya and Somalia with the hidden agenda to heighten the secession.
Between October and December 2020, there were several high level meetings held in Mogadishu attended by leaders within the Degodia community as well as FGS officials such as Abdullahi Sheikh Ali the Federal Government of Somalia and Jibril Alkutuby, the first Degodia MP for Hirshabelle Region in Somalia and a Kenyan by birth.
During one such meeting, the Somali Intelligence identified a Kenyan Degodia – Rahma Mohamed Guliye from Mandera to be the chief coordinator for the unification of the Kenya and Somali Degodia. Consequently, Rahma was appointed the Chief of Staff in the office of the Prime Minister of the FGS on 3rd November 2020. Rahma accepted the appointment and thanked President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo”, the President of Federal Government of Somalia, for the favour he had extended to her and the Degodia in Kenya.
An important task given to Rahma among others was the immediate launching of the Degodia flag in Nairobi Kenya as a unique identifier and the sensitization of Kenya Degodia youth on the need for the community’s independence. A series of events was then rapidly held in the course of one month to achieve this goal.
Yesterday Rahma denied all allegations against her insisting that she was only a politician, blogger and philanthropist.
“I think you do not know me. I have no relationship with the Somali President and neither am I involved in any such thing,” she said.
Rahma is reported to have attended a meeting in Mogadishu at the end of October 2020 which was graced by bdullahi Sheikh Ali (Qaloocow), Deputy Finance Minister (FGS). The following day, she attended a Degodia women meeting in Mogadishu during which, Caasho Bulsho and Maslaha Abdille (Chair and Vice-Chair) ‘Haween Bile’ representing the Degodia women in Somalia, also attended. On 1st November 2020 Rahma attended a Degodia meeting in Mugadisho guleyso walalkey which was graced by Ahmed Boray Arale. These meetings culminated in her appointment as Chief Of Staff, Office Of The Prime Minister, FGS.
A week later Rahma attended a dinner in Mogadishu with all Degodia families living in Mogadishu. The dinner was hosted by another MP Abdullahi Sheikh Ali. In her thanksgiving speech, she congratulated among others the Youth Chairman of Degodia clan in Somalia for his good work for the community and expressed optimism for possible independence of the Degodia Community.
On 19th November 2020, she participated in a Degodia meeting in Mogadishu which was graced by Jibril Alkutuby, Degodia MP, Hirshabelle Region. This was consultative meeting held by the youth committee of Degodia Clan as a precursor for a bigger meeting that MP Ali Jibril would hold with the Degodia community in Mogadishu later. The MP is a Kenyan by birth from Mandera and holds a Kenyan Passport.
Before his appointment to the Second Parliament in Hirshabelle, Jibril was working in Somali Intelligence (NISA) as the head of Open Source Intelligence Unit that used to recruit journalists as agents for the intelligence organization. Rahma travelled back to Nairobi and proceeded to Mandera the following day where she held a meeting at Granada Hotel on 22nd November, 2020.
Two days later, she travelled to Wajir for some meetings. On 28th November, she returned to Eldas in Wajir County to attend a BBI rally and launch of the first direct flight to Eldas which was attended by top Degodia politicians – among them Hon Adan Keynan and Abdi Rizack Somo.
Their goal was finally accomplished when the Degodia community launched their flag on 29th of November 2020 at Grand Royal Hotel in Eastleigh, Nairobi. The ceremony was attended by politicians, religious leaders, youth, women and representatives from the FGS led by Hon Abdullahi Sheikh Ali.
The call for independence and perseverance in the course of fighting for the community to attain independence was the dominant theme at the launch of the flag. Speaker after speaker praised the launch indicating that they were ready to chart the course for Degodia and their independence by all means.
“I attended that function because the young people invited me to celebrate one of our leaders. I have nothing to do with the flag. The only flag I know is the Kenyan flag,” she insisted.
Rahma, a Kenyan by birth and other leading politicians from Wajir, Mandera and Garissa discretely support FGS and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ interests in Kenya. These politicians include a fomer MP who is also related to Rahma, a Governor, a prominent city lawyer, Garissa County MP and a prominent businessman from Ogaden clan.
The politicians subliminally champion the secessionist agenda through insinuations of marginalization of Kenyan Somalis. This, according to multiple sources appears to be part of a bigger scheme to reignite controversial calls for Northern Kenya independence or its annexation to Somalia.
The launched Degodia flag is horizontal tricolour of black at the top, blue Somalia flag with white star in the middle and red at the bottom. During the launch, it was explained that the black represents Degodias living in Kenya, the Somalia flag represents their people living in Somalia and the red colour represents “The blood shed during the fight and struggle for the independence of Degodia community.”
It’s important to note that a large population of Degodia community lives in Ethiopia and their current king is based in Ethiopia too. However, they were neither represented in the colours of the purported flag nor has the flag been launched in Ethiopia. This is a clear indicator that the flag is aimed at uniting the Degodias living in Northern Kenya and those in Somalia in a concerted effort of rooting for the secessionist agenda and undermining Kenyan national security.
The Government of Kenya must keenly watch and take actions against these secessionists otherwise it will not be long before we are back to the Shifta years of the 60s.
Abdullahi is the a horn of Africa conflict Analysis expert.