Our new Regional State Check series seeks to provide an informed up to date understanding of the major developments in Somalia. We focus on the stories which make the headlines in the respective regional states aided by our team of reporters stationed in all parts of the country. Today our focus is on Puntland State.
Quick facts about Puntland
Puntland State of Somalia is a region in Northeastern Somalia, with Garowe as its administrative capital. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998.
Puntland is bordered by the Somaliland region to its west, the Gulf of Aden in the north, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, the central Galmudug region in the south, and Ethiopia in the southwest.
The 2014 Puntland presidential election was held on 8 January 2014 in Garowe, the administrative capital of the autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia. This was the third such vote to be held in the state since its formation in 1998. The speaker of Parliament and Deputy Speaker were elected on 4 January 2014 by the 66-seat regional legislature. Candidates included officials from the then Puntland administration, former government ministers and prominent local entrepreneurs.
The ballot saw the election of former Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiweli Mohamed Ali as the 5th President of Puntland, narrowly defeating Abdirahman Mohamud Farole.
These are some of the major developments in the month of April.
April 1, 2015: The President of semi-autonomous regional State of Puntland Abdiweli Ali Gaas receives Ghulam Rabani Popal, World health Organization (WHO) Representative for Somalia at Puntlant Presidential palace to review the progress being made in health programmes ways to establish close collaboration with the health authorities.
April 7, 2015: Puntland’s Minister of Civil Aviation and Airports Hassan Haji Saed unveils plans to construct Garowe airport.
April 7, 2015: Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas issues a decree removing Mudug governor Mohamed Yusuf Tigey from office and replaced by Abdikadir Shire Farah.
April 8, 2015: Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali meets a delegation led by the new Australian Ambassador to Somalia including the head of UN Office on Drugs and Crimes Alan Cole to discuss key issues related to political, security and development cooperation.
April 9, 2015: One of the sons of former president of semi-autonomous regional State of Puntland, Abdirahman Sheikh Mohamed allegedly kills his mother, Amina Abiib Elmi. The motive of the alleged murder is unknown.
April 10, 2015: Puntland president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali expresses concern at closure of Money Remittance by Kenyan government.
April 10, 2015: Somalia Federal government Prime Minster Omar Abdi Rashid Sharmake arrives in Puntland capital Garowe for the first time since taking office early this year. The prime Minister is accompanied by ministers from his government and some Somalia members of parliament.
April 11, 2015: Federal Government of Somalia and the semi-autonomous regional state of Puntland hold two-day long talks in the administrative capital, Garowe.
April 12, 2015: Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland sign a bilateral agreement after two-day long talks in the capital Garowe.
The leaders agree on the following points:
1: Somalia Federal Government and Puntland State agreed on the enforcement of two-party agreement signed by the former Prime Minister Abdiweli Ahmed Mohamed and Puntland President Abdiweli Ali on October 14, 2014. Both sides established a forum to implement the agreement.
2: Both parties acknowledged the role of Federal Member States in the declaration of laws ahead of parliamentary approval and nomination of national level commission members as per the Federal Constitution
3: Formation of any regional state should be clearly based on the Provisional Federal Constitution.
4: The talks between the federal government and regional states should be held in Garowe, capital administrative of Puntland in April.
5: Puntland State should contribute 3000 troops to Somali National Army (SNA) as to part of the process to form integration of the various existing regional security forces into one nationally cohesive force.
6: The sides commended the federal government’s initiatives to hold talks with the breakaway Somaliland.
7: The parties agreed to work hand in hand and to form a ministerial level commission consisting of the members of the Federal Government of Somalia and the regional state in order to ensure that the region gets its share and benefit from the international development aid Somalia receives.
April 16, 2015: A delegation led by Puntland president Dr. Abdiweli reaches Ethiopian town of Bahar Daar to attend Tana Forum conference.
April 16, 2015: A delegation led by Puntland minister for labour, Abdirahman Sheikh arrives in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia following official invitation from the federal government of Somalia,
April 17, 2015: Police station in Bosaso town comes under attack “from Al-shabaab” with casualties reported.
April 18 2015: Unidentified gunmen in a car shoot and kill one of Puntland’s Member of Parliament Adan Haji Hussein alias Adan Yare at close range in drive-by shooting. The attackers flee from the scene right away.
April 18, 2015: Tana Forum conference kicks off in Ethiopian town of Bahar Daar. In attendance are former and incumbent presidents, diplomats, professionals and several other invited dignitaries. The fourth session of the Tana Forum was to discuss Secularism and Politicized faith. Among those invited was the president of semi-autonomous regional state of Puntland.
April 18, 2015: Puntland’s vice president, Abdihakiim Abdullahi Omar Amay hosts a delegation from United Nations and African Union at the presidential palace in Puntland.
April 20th 2015: At least 8 people half of them foreigners are killed and 7 others injured in an attack on a UN vehicle in Garowe, the capital of semi-autonomous regional state of Puntland.
April 22, 2015: Consultative Conference on security issues kicks off in the capital, Garowe
The meeting is attended by some of Puntland ministers, security officials and some district commissioners in that State.
April 22, 2015: Somalia’s north eastern government of Puntland commences twenty-hour sea patrol after it dispatched well-equipped marine forces off coast Puntland. In a well organised ceremony attended by minister of fisheries Abdinur Elmi Biindhe, well-trained and equipped marine forces were displayed before being sent to the Puntland waters to counter illegal fishing and privacy.
April 24, 2015: Delegation led by Puntland Minister of Ports and Marine Transport Abdullahi Adan Toohe visits Taleh town. The minister holds talks with elders of two brotherly clans who engaged in gun battle in that town.
April 25, 2015: Col. Ahmed Abdullahi Samatar, Nugal regional police commander tells the media that suspects arrested in connection with the terror attack that left four UNICEF staff dead are being interrogated at police headquarters.
April 26, 2015: Delegation led by Puntland’s Abdiweli Mohamed Ali returns from Ethiopia where they had attended Tana Forum conference.
April 27, 2015: Fire outbreak destroys properties of unknown value in Garowe, the capital administrative regional state of Puntland. The fire was reported to have erupted at petrol station and spread to nearby restaurants.
April 27, 2015: President Gaas tells the media that investigations are underway and that the police are interrogating the arrested suspect in connection with attack on UN mini-bus.
“The investigations of UN mini-bus attack are close to conclusion and the result will be shared with the media and the public” he said.
April 28, 2015: Delegation led by Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud touches down at Garowe airport to attend key conference on the country’s framework for action.
April 29, 2015: Jubaland’s leader Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe) and southwest state administration leader Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adam land in Garowe for the conference on vision 2016.
April 30, 2015: Federal Government of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud officially opens a consultative conference on the country’s 2016 vision in Puntland capital of Garowe.