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Somalia: New Puntland president takes office

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Somalia: New Puntland president takes office

11 Jan 11, 2009 - 6:11:56 PM


GAROWE, Somalia Jan 11 (Garowe Online) - The newly elected leader of Somalia's semiautonomous State of Puntland has officially taken office following a crowning ceremony held in Garowe, the region's capital, Radio Garowe reports.


The well-organized event was held inside the Puntland Parliament hall, with lawmakers, clan elders and politicians present, including ex-Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf, Puntland's founding father.


Mr. Abdirashid Ali Hersi, the Puntland parliament Speaker, offered the opening words and urged the incoming administration to "implement election promises."



Gen. Mohamud "Adde" Muse, the former president of Puntland, addressed the gathering and congratulated new President Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed "Farole" on his election.


The outgoing Puntland leader pointed out three issues of importance, starting with a declaration that all security forces in Puntland are now under the command of the new administration.


"There can be no clan militia anywhere in Puntland except a government security force," Gen. Muse said, adding: "I know that the Dr. [Farole] is a planner and that [Puntland VP] Gen. Abdi Ali Shire has years of military experience."


While underlining development ambitions, the ex-Puntland ruler admitted his administration's shortcomings, saying: "Things fell apart for us."



Gen. Muse also called on the Farole administration to take a leading role in the Djibouti peace process, saying: "Puntland must play a role in the Somali reconciliation process and the creation of a national government."


Thirdly, Puntland's former president said that the region's international image must be protected and urged the new administration to respect oil deals signed by the Muse government.


"I was going to return to Canada, but I have decided to open an office in Bossaso and to continue efforts in oil exploration," said Gen. Muse to the crowd's applause.


'New policy'



Dr. Farole, Puntland' s new leader who won a parliamentary vote on Jan. 8, at first praised outgoing President Gen. Muse for upholding promises to hold a peaceful election on time.


President Farole thanked the outgoing leadership, the traditional elders, the intellectuals, the politicians and the women who took part in organizing and holding a peaceful and orderly election.


He gave special thanks to ex-President Muse for a smooth transition of power, while acknowledging that the former ruler has plenty of information on development contracts he inked with foreign partners since 2005.


"He [Muse] will become the administration's special adviser on development issues," said President Farole as the hall erupted in applause.



Puntland's new president urged the public to uphold the peace and promised a "new policy to save Puntland."


"I call on all Somali people to work towards peace and good neighborliness," President Farole said, adding: "I request the international community to assist my new administration in terms of security, political and economic development, and humanitarian aid."


Political rivals until recently, Dr. Farole and Gen. Muse have exemplified the hopes and ambitions of Puntland by embracing the region's third democratic election.


Many challenges face the Farole administration in the coming four years, including combating piracy and corruption, as well as implementing a new constitution and a multi-party political system

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Is this an official post, or a mere political gesture?


This , however, does not surprise me---his campaing manger becoming his cheif staff. But the retention of Cadde as an advisor is major.

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