Jubaland
Overview
 
Jubaland also known as Azania or the Juba Valley and formerly as Trans-Juba , is an autonomous region in southern Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. Its eastern border lies 40–60 km east of the Jubba River
Jubba River
The Jubba River is a river in southern Somalia. It begins at the border with Ethiopia, where the Dawa and Ganale Dorya rivers meet, and flows directly south to the Indian Ocean, where it empties at the Goobweyn juncture.-History:...

, stretching from Gedo
Gedo
Gedo is an administrative region , formerly part of the historic Upper Juba Region in southern Somalia. Its regional capital is Garbahaarreey. Gedo is a region created in 1980s and is bordered by the Ogaden in Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province in Kenya, and the Somali regions of Bakool, Bay,...

 to the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, while its western side flanks the North Eastern Province
North Eastern Province (Kenya)
North Eastern Province is the third largest province in Kenya and has thirteen constituencies represented in the Kenya National Assembly.The region is home to a rare type of antelope called the Hirola, which is classified as an endangered species. The NFD's pastoralists also possess livestock in...

 in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

.

Jubaland's total population is estimated at 1.3 million inhabitants. As of 2005, its constituent administrative regions of Gedo
Gedo
Gedo is an administrative region , formerly part of the historic Upper Juba Region in southern Somalia. Its regional capital is Garbahaarreey. Gedo is a region created in 1980s and is bordered by the Ogaden in Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province in Kenya, and the Somali regions of Bakool, Bay,...

, Lower Juba and Middle Juba had estimated populations of 690,000, 400,000 and 240,000 residents, respectively.

The territory has a total area of 87,000 km² (33,000 sq mi).
Encyclopedia
Jubaland also known as Azania or the Juba Valley and formerly as Trans-Juba , is an autonomous region in southern Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. Its eastern border lies 40–60 km east of the Jubba River
Jubba River
The Jubba River is a river in southern Somalia. It begins at the border with Ethiopia, where the Dawa and Ganale Dorya rivers meet, and flows directly south to the Indian Ocean, where it empties at the Goobweyn juncture.-History:...

, stretching from Gedo
Gedo
Gedo is an administrative region , formerly part of the historic Upper Juba Region in southern Somalia. Its regional capital is Garbahaarreey. Gedo is a region created in 1980s and is bordered by the Ogaden in Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province in Kenya, and the Somali regions of Bakool, Bay,...

 to the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, while its western side flanks the North Eastern Province
North Eastern Province (Kenya)
North Eastern Province is the third largest province in Kenya and has thirteen constituencies represented in the Kenya National Assembly.The region is home to a rare type of antelope called the Hirola, which is classified as an endangered species. The NFD's pastoralists also possess livestock in...

 in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

.

Jubaland's total population is estimated at 1.3 million inhabitants. As of 2005, its constituent administrative regions of Gedo
Gedo
Gedo is an administrative region , formerly part of the historic Upper Juba Region in southern Somalia. Its regional capital is Garbahaarreey. Gedo is a region created in 1980s and is bordered by the Ogaden in Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province in Kenya, and the Somali regions of Bakool, Bay,...

, Lower Juba and Middle Juba had estimated populations of 690,000, 400,000 and 240,000 residents, respectively.

The territory has a total area of 87,000 km² (33,000 sq mi). Its main city is Kismayo, which is situated on the coast near the mouth of the Jubba river. Bardera
Bardera
Bardera City is an important agricultural city in the Gedo region of Somalia. It is the second most populous town in the Juba Valley, with Kismayo being the largest and most densely populated city in the region, and Garbahaarreey serving as Gedo's capital...

, Afmadow
Afmadow
Afmadow is a city in southern Somalia, located in the middle of the Juba region and bordered by Kenya, Badhadhe, Kismayo, Jamame, Jilib, Hagar, Bardhere and Elwaq in Somalia, 620 km south of the capital Mogadishu. It is home to a wide variety of wild animals, including the Big Five game. The...

, Bu'aale
Bu'aale
Bu'ale is a town in the Jubbada Dhexe region of Somalia. It is the capital of the Bu'aale District, situated in the southern Jubba River valley.-References:*...

 and Beled Haawo are the other principal cities in the region.

In antiquity, the Jubaland region's various port cities and harbours, such as Essina and Sarapion, were an integral part of global trade. During the Middle Ages, the influential Somali Ajuuraan State
Ajuuraan State
The Ajuuraan state or Ajuuraan sultanate was a Somali Muslim empire that ruled over large parts of East Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan Empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the...

 held sway over the territory, followed in turn by the Geledi Sultanate
Gobroon Dynasty
The Gobroon dynasty or Geledi sultanate was a Somali royal house that ruled parts of East Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was established by the Ajuuraan soldier Ibrahim Adeer, who had defeated various vassals of the Ajuuraan Empire and established the House of Gobroon...

. From 1836 until 1861, parts of Jubaland were claimed by the Sultanate of Muscat
Muscat, Oman
Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

 (now in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

), and were later incorporated into British East Africa. In 1925, Jubaland was ceded to Italy, forming a part of Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

. On 1 July 1960, the region, along with the rest of Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

, became part of the independent republic of Somalia.

More recently, Jubaland has been the site of numerous battles in the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

, and it was declared independent from 1998 to 1999. In late 2006, Islamist militants gained control of most of the region. To reclaim possession of the territory, a new autonomous administration dubbed Azania was announced in 2010 and formalized the following year.

Pre-colonial history

In ancient times, the Jubaland region's various port cities and harbours, such as Essina and Sarapion, were an integral part of world trade. Many of the old cities in the area, including Gondershe
Gondershe
Gondershe is an historical Somali stone city built on an oasis in southern Somalia. The city's ruins consist of typical Somali architecture such as coral stone houses, fortifications, tombs and mosques...

, Bardera
Bardera
Bardera City is an important agricultural city in the Gedo region of Somalia. It is the second most populous town in the Juba Valley, with Kismayo being the largest and most densely populated city in the region, and Garbahaarreey serving as Gedo's capital...

 and Kismayo, date from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

The region eventually came under the rule of the influential Ajuuraan State
Ajuuraan State
The Ajuuraan state or Ajuuraan sultanate was a Somali Muslim empire that ruled over large parts of East Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan Empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the...

, which utilized the Jubba River
Jubba River
The Jubba River is a river in southern Somalia. It begins at the border with Ethiopia, where the Dawa and Ganale Dorya rivers meet, and flows directly south to the Indian Ocean, where it empties at the Goobweyn juncture.-History:...

 for its plantations.

After the collapse of this polity, the House of Gobroon was established and the Geledi Sultanate
Gobroon Dynasty
The Gobroon dynasty or Geledi sultanate was a Somali royal house that ruled parts of East Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was established by the Ajuuraan soldier Ibrahim Adeer, who had defeated various vassals of the Ajuuraan Empire and established the House of Gobroon...

 held sway over the area. The dynasty reached its apex under the successive reigns of Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim
Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim
Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim was a Somali ruler, and the third Sultan of the Gobroon Dynasty from 1798 to 1848.-Biography:Yusuf was the son of the Somali Sultan Mahamud Ibrahim, and the grandson of Ibrahim Adeer...

, who successfully consolidated Gobroon power during the Bardera wars, and Sultan Ahmed Yusuf
Ahmed Yusuf (Gobroon)
Ahmed Yusuf was a Somali ruler, and the fourth Sultan of the Gobroon Dynasty from 1848 to 1878.-Biography:Yusuf was born in the town of Afgooye, where he stayed until the age of seven...

, who forced regional powers such as the Omani Empire
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 to submit tribute
Tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

.

From 1836 until 1861, parts of Jubaland were claimed by the Sultanate of Muscat
Muscat, Oman
Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

 (now in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

), when the new Sultanate of Zanzibar was split from Muscat and Oman
Muscat and Oman
Muscat and Oman was a country that encompassed the present day Sultanate of Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates. The country is not to be confused with either the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820....

 and given control of its East African territories.

Colonial period

On 7 November 1890, Zanzibar became a British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 protectorate
Protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

, and on 1 July 1895, the Sultanate ceded all of its coastal possessions in continental East Africa to Britain. Together with the Zanzibar Sultanate's other former possessions in the area, Jubaland became part of the British East Africa colony.

Jubaland was subsequently ceded to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in 1925 as a reward for the Italians having joined the Allies in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and had a brief existence as the Italian colony
Italian Empire
The Italian Empire was created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "scramble for Africa". Modern Italy as a unified state only existed from 1861. By this time France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands, had already carved...

 of Trans-Juba (Oltre Giuba) under governor (16 July 1924 - 31 December 1926) Corrado Zoli (1877–1951). Italy issued its first postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

s for the territory on 29 July 1925, consisting of contemporary Italian stamps overprint
Overprint
An overprint is an additional layer of text or graphics added to the face of a postage stamp or banknote after it has been printed. Post offices most often use overprints for internal administrative purposes such as accounting but they are also employed in public mail...

ed Oltre Giuba (Trans-Juba).

Jubaland was then incorporated into neighboring Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

 on 30 June 1926. The colony had a total area of 87,000 km² (33,000 sq mi), and in 1926, a population of 120,000 inhabitants.

Independence

On 1 July 1960, Jubaland, along with the rest of Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland , also known as Italian Somalia, was a colony of the Kingdom of Italy from the 1880s until 1936 in the region of modern-day Somalia. Ruled in the 19th century by the Somali Sultanate of Hobyo and the Majeerteen Sultanate, the territory was later acquired by Italy through various...

 and British Somaliland
British Somaliland
British Somaliland was a British protectorate in the northern part of present-day Somalia. For much of its existence, British Somaliland was bordered by French Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Italian Somaliland. From 1940 to 1941, it was occupied by the Italians and was part of Italian East Africa...

, became part of the independent republic of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

.

1974 resettlement

During the post-independence period, one particularly significant historical event was the series of internal migrations into the Jubba regions by Somalis from other parts of the country.

Between 1974 and 1975, a major drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

 referred to as the Abaartii Dabadheer ("The Lingering Drought") occurred in the northern regions of Somalia. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, which at the time maintained strategic relations with the Siad Barre
Siad Barre
Mohamed Siad Barre was the military dictator and President of the Somali Democratic Republic from 1969 to 1991. During his rule, he styled himself as Jaalle Siyaad ....

 government, airlifted some 90,000 people from the devastated regions of Hobyo
Hobyo
Hobyo is an ancient harbor city in the Mudug region of Somalia. Hobyo literally means "here, water", and the plentiful fresh water to be had from the wells in and around the town has been the driving force behind Hobyo's ancient status as a favorite port-of-call for sailors.-Establishment:Hobyo's...

 and Caynaba
Caynaba
Aynabo is an ancient town in the northern Sool region of Somalia. The inhabitants of Aynabo are the Habar Jeclo clan, of the larger Isaaq.-References:*...

. New small settlements referred to as Danwadaagaha ("Collective Settlements") were then created in the Jubbada Hoose
Jubbada Hoose
Lower Juba is an administrative region in southern Somalia. With its capital at Kismayo, it lies in the Jubaland autonomous region.Lower Juba is bordered by Kenya, the Somalian regions of Gedo, Middle Juba, and the Indian Ocean...

 (Lower Jubba) and Jubbada Dhexe
Jubbada Dhexe
Middle Juba is an administrative region in southern Somalia. With its capital at Bu'aale, it is located in the Jubaland autonomous region.Middle Juba is bordered by Somali regions of Gedo, Bay, Lower Shabele and Jubbada Hoose and the Indian Ocean...

 (Middle Jubba) regions. The transplanted families were also introduced to farming and fishing techniques, a change from their traditional pastoralist lifestyle of livestock herding.

Somali Civil War

By the late 1980s, the moral authority of Barre's government had collapsed. Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The government became increasingly totalitarian
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

, and resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

s, encouraged by Ethiopia, sprang up across the country, eventually leading to the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

 and Barre's ouster.

Following the ensuing breakdown of central authority, General Mohammed Said Hersi "Morgan"
Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan
Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan was the son-in-law of Siad Barre and minister of defense of Somalia. Said Hersi Morgan is thought to be responsible for many atrocities committed against the Somali population during the Barre government and during the civil war of the 1990s in the region of Kismayu...

, Barre's son-in-law and former Minister of Defense, briefly declared Jubaland independent on 3 September 1998. Political opponents of General Morgan subsequently united as the Allied Somali Forces
Allied Somali Forces
The Allied Somali Forces was a political faction of the Somali Civil War. It was the primary opponent of the Somali Patriotic Movement vying for the control of Kismayo and the Juba River valley, the area known as Jubaland....

 (ASF), seizing control of Kismayo by June of the following year.

Led by Colonel Barre Adan Shire Hiiraale
Barre Adan Shire Hiiraale
Barre Adan Shire , also known as Barre Hiiraale, Barre "Hirale" Aden Shire, or Abdikadir Adan Shire, is a former Minister of Defense of the Somali Transitional Federal Government . He was previously the TFG Minister for National Reconstruction and Resettlement...

, the ASF administration renamed itself the Juba Valley Alliance
Juba Valley Alliance
The Juba Valley Alliance is a political faction of the Somali Civil War. It was the primary opponent of the Somali Patriotic Movement and the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council vying for the control of Kismayo and the Juba River valley, the area known as Jubaland.Following the...

 in 2001. On 18 June of that year, an 11-member inter-clan council decided to ally the JVA with the newly-forming Transitional Federal Government
Transitional Federal Government
The Transitional Federal Government is the current internationally recognized government of the Republic of Somalia. It was established as one of the Transitional Federal Institutions of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter adopted in November 2004 by the Transitional...

.

In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 organization, assumed control of much of Jubaland and other parts of southern Somalia and promptly imposed Shari'a law. The Transitional Federal Government sought to re-establish its authority, and, with the assistance of Ethiopian troops, African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 peacekeepers and air support by the United States, managed to drive out the rival ICU and solidify its rule.

On 8 January 2007, as the Battle of Ras Kamboni
Battle of Ras Kamboni
The Battle of Ras Kamboni was a battle in the 2006-2007 Somali War fought by the Islamic Courts Union and affiliated militias against Ethiopian and the Somali Transitional Federal Government forces for control of Ras Kamboni , a town near the Kenyan border which once served as a training camp for...

 raged, TFG President and founder Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed is a veteran Somali politician. He is one of the founders of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, as well as the Puntland State of Somalia, where he served as the autonomous region's first President...

, a former colonel in the Somali Army and decorated war hero, entered Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

 for the first time since being elected to office. The government then relocated to Villa Somalia
Villa Somalia
Villa Somalia is the presidential palace of Somalia, which sits on high ground near the shores of the Indian Ocean in Mogadishu, with access to both the harbor and airport....

 in the capital from its interim location in Baidoa
Baidoa
Baidoa is a city in south-central Somalia, situated by road northwest of the capital Mogadishu. It is the capital of the Bay region, which is traditionally inhabited by the Digil and Mirifle clans....

. This marked the first time since the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 that the federal government controlled most of the country.

Following this defeat, the Islamic Courts Union splintered into several different factions. Some of the more radical elements, including Al-Shabaab
Al-Shabaab (Somalia)
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen , more commonly known as al-Shabaab , is a terrorist group of militants fighting to overthrow the government of Somalia. As of 2011, the group controls large swathes of the southern parts of Somalia, where it is said to have imposed its own strict form of Sharia law...

, regrouped to continue their insurgency against the TFG and oppose the Ethiopian military's presence in Somalia. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab scored military victories, seizing control of key towns and ports in both central and southern Somalia. At the end of 2008, the group had captured Baidoa
Baidoa
Baidoa is a city in south-central Somalia, situated by road northwest of the capital Mogadishu. It is the capital of the Bay region, which is traditionally inhabited by the Digil and Mirifle clans....

 but not Mogadishu. By January 2009, Al-Shabaab and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian troops to retreat, leaving behind an under-equipped African Union peacekeeping force to assist the Transitional Federal Government's troops.

Jubaland Initiative and Azania

In 2010, residents of Somalia's Juba region established a new secular regional administration. This Jubaland Initiative was created to bring about local stability, in the model of the autonomous Puntland
Puntland
Puntland , officially the Puntland State of Somalia , is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998....

 and Somaliland
Somaliland
Somaliland is an unrecognised self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland protectorate, which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of...

 regions in the northern part of the country. Kenya has expressed interest in helping to develop the new regional administration so as to establish a buffer zone between it and the Islamist insurgency in southern Somalia. However, neighboring Ethiopia is reportedly unhappy about the Jubaland Initiative and Kenya's involvement in it, as it fears that the project will have an effect on its own military struggle against rebels in the Somali-inhabited Ogaden
Ogaden
Ogaden is the name of a territory comprising the southeastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The title "Somali Galbeed", which means "Western Somalia," is often preferred by Somali irredentists.The region, which is...

 region, who seek independence. On 3 April 2011, it was announced that the new autonomous Jubaland administration would be referred to as Azania and would be led as President by Mohamed Abdi Mohamed (Gandhi), the former national Minister of Defense. According to President Ghandi, a trained anthropologist and historian, Azania was selected as the name for the new administration because of its historical importance, as "Azania was a name given to Somalia more than 2,500 years ago and it was given by Egyptian sailors who used to get a lot of food reserves from the Somali Coast[...] Its origin is [an] Arabic word meaning the land of plenty."

Following a coordinated operation between the Somalian military
Military of Somalia
The Military of Somalia was, up until 1991, made up of the army, navy, air force, and air defense command. The outbreak of the Somali Civil War during that year led to the de facto dissolution of the national armed forces. However, efforts to re-establish a regular armed force by a re-constituted...

 and the Kenyan military in 2011, President of Somalia Sharif Ahmed
Sharif Ahmed
Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is the current President of Somalia and former Commander in Chief of the Islamic Courts Union .-Biography:...

 initially expressed reservations about the deployment of Kenyan troops for what a BBC correspondent suggested was his opposition to the notion of Kenya's involvement in the Jubaland Initiative. However, the Somalian and Kenyan governments later jointly issued a communique formally pledging coordinated military, political and diplomatic support for the mission, and specifying that the operation would officially be Somalia-led.

New flag

Azania's new regional flag consists of a rectangular shaped surface with three horizontal bars: the top row in white, the middle row in blue, and the bottom row in red.

Administrative divisions

As of 2005, Jubaland's constituent administrative regions consist of the following:
  • Gedo
    Gedo
    Gedo is an administrative region , formerly part of the historic Upper Juba Region in southern Somalia. Its regional capital is Garbahaarreey. Gedo is a region created in 1980s and is bordered by the Ogaden in Ethiopia, the North Eastern Province in Kenya, and the Somali regions of Bakool, Bay,...

  • Lower Juba
  • Middle Juba
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