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Somalia: Puntland's new leader frustrates Somaliland

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Somalia: Puntland's new leader frustrates Somaliland

11 Jan 11, 2009 - 9:47:40 AM




HARGEISA, Somalia Jan 11 (Garowe Online) - The newly elected leader of Somalia's Puntland regional government has demanded that Somaliland separatists withdraw their forces from the disputed regions, Radio Garowe reports.


Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed "Farole," the new Puntland president, told the BBC Somali Service that the people of Puntland and Somaliland are brothers.


"I especially know that the people of Puntland mourn the extra suffering inflicted upon Somaliland," President Farole said, while indirectly referring to the bombing of Hargeisa and Burao by the Gen. Barre regime in the late 1980s.


Puntland's new leader urged the Somaliland public not support separatist government's agenda to spoil the upcoming election in Somaliland.



Puntland Pres. Farole and VP Shire/GO

"I urge you [somaliland people] not to support the administration as it attempts to win the election [in March] by bringing troops and election boxes to regions where Somaliland has no support," President Farole said.


He challenged the Somaliland leadership, saying: "Where are the community and traditional leaders of the regions [sool and Sanaag]? They are all here in Garowe," he answered, referring to the capital of Puntland.


"I request the Somaliland administration to stop the hostilities and to immediately withdraw from Sool [region] and to respect good neighborliness among the brotherly peoples who will always need each other," President Farole added.


Somaliland unilaterally seceded away from the rest of Somalia in 1991 but remains international unrecognized. The separatist republic's leaders have cited the bombings in Hargeisa and Burao by Somali government warplanes as fuel for secession.


Somaliland response


Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed Du'ale, Somaliland's foreign affairs minister, heatedly responded to the new Puntland leader's comments.


"We [somaliland] see these comments as a new development," Mr. Du'ale told the BBC Somali Service during a Sunday interview, before flying from Hargeisa to Djibouti.


He suggested that the Puntland leader's position is that "all the related clans work together. Governance cannot be built on clans. It looks like he [Farole] is sending us backwards."


Somaliland's foreign minister expressed surprise at Puntland President Farole's clear position vis-à-vis the disputed regions, saying: "The men before him used to sugarcoat words."


Responding to Dr. Farole's challenge, Mr. Du'ale said: "I was part of the Somaliland delegation that visited Las Anod [capital of Sool] to monitor the voter-registration process, which is going well. The traditional elders in Garowe have become politicians."


He strongly defended Somaliland's unrecognized borders, saying that Somalia was originally divided into British Protectorate of Somaliland and the Italian colony of Somalia.


Mr. Du'ale called on the Puntland administration to combat insecurity and piracy instead.


Somaliland's separatist government claims colonial-era boundaries in its bid for international recognition, but the breakdown of the Somali nation-state in 1991 has led to each clan to establish self-rule its native land.


The most well-known traditional elders from Sool region, native to the *********** clan, have been in Garowe for months where they played a key role in overseeing a smooth and successful election process that brought Dr. Farole to power on Jan. 8.


President Farole's deputy, Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire, is a *********** clansman from Sool region.


The *********** clan, along with President Farole's ********* and the Warsangeli, form the ***** confederacy of the larger ***** clan-family, which forms the core constituency of Puntland.


In Somaliland, the dominant ***** clan is perceived as the primary supporters of secession while the ***** clans are seen as pro-Somali unity.


Thousands of civilians who fled Las Anod following Somaliland's takeover in Oct. 2007 now live in Garowe and other parts of Puntland.



Source: Garowe Online

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Faroole is pushing the right buttons at the right time he has come out quite forcefully and either way it might prove a crisis of legitimacy for the election being held.

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