Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland today celebrates its 16th anniversary as a state, which was established in garowe, the administrative capital, on August 1, 1998.
Top Puntland government officials including President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, , traditional elders, intellectuals and hundreds of Puntland’s residents attended the ceremony in the capital Garowe.
Security was tightened in major towns of the state, where Puntland security forces could be seen throughout, particularly Garowe, closing streets and checking cars.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Gaas said, “Puntland has achieved tangible success in peace and development sectors during the last 16 years and hailed the founders of Puntland State”. As he thanked the armed forces of Puntland and its citizens at large on their role to reach a more prosperous and peaceful Puntland.
After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991, traditional leaders from puntland met in Garowe, and after a series of conferences they finally announced their own semi-autonomous state of Puntland on August 1, 1998.
Although it operates as a semi-autonomous region, Puntland leaders vowed they will be always be part of the republic of Somalia, unlike the breakaway region of Somaliland that seeks independence from the rest of Somalia.