By T. Roble
Puntland has cut ties with the Federal Government citing lack of agreements during the Garowe meeting early this month in yet another indication of faltering relations between Mogadishu and the regional governments for two years now.
In a strongly worded statement, Puntland said it would suspend cooperation with Mogadishu in critical areas such as security, constitutional review process and elections.
“Puntland Government hereby suspends all cooperation with the Federal Government of Somalia in the following areas/processes: a) constitutional review; b) federal elections; and c) national security,” the statement read in part.
The eastern state also said it would not recognise laws approved by the Federal Government ‘pending the completion of Federal Constitution in a transparent, inclusive and consultative process with the Federal Member States.’
ELECTIONS AND PETROLEUM BILLS
In building its case against the FGS, Puntland which had been a strong proponent of anti-FGS stance during the time of former president Abdiweli Gaas accused the Federal Government of being averse to any agreements during the talks in Garowe which collapsed after five days.
FGS opposed any further discussions on the Petroleum Amendment Bill and the Elections Bill, Puntland said noting the two pieces of legislation fell short of meaningful input from the Federal Member States (FMS).
“The Petroleum Law process was a blatant disregard for political inclusivity, constitutional power-sharing structure and limits State government powers to representative roles with no specified authority,” Puntland said.
RELATED COVERAGE: Federal states severe ties with Mogadishu, cite interference
The FMS leaders ‘rejected these laws as conceptually opposed to the spirit of reconciliation, nation-building, and fundamentals of federalism’.
The Petroleum Act Amendment Bill was approved last week by the Lower House and is now awaiting debate by the Upper House.
The Said Deni administration also accused the FMS of resisting attempts to form an inter-governmental forum noting the National Security Council was insufficient to address a wide range of issues since its scope is largely limited to security issues.
The statement by Puntland affirms earlier accusations by both Galmudug and Jubbaland leaders who accused the government of lacking any will to resolve the two-year long disputes between the two levels of government.
The move by Puntland to suspend ties with Mogadishu dampens any hopes of President Mohamed Farmaajo ever enjoying any good relations with the Federal Member States as he serves the last two years of his term.
Relations between Mogadishu and the FMS hit rock bottom last September when the CIC announced the severance of ties and went ahead in a subsequent meeting in October to announce the formation of FMS joint army. The formation of the army though never materialised.