News / Africa

New President of Puntland Vows to Fight Lack of Security

FILE - President of Puntland Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
FILE - President of Puntland Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
Reuters
Parliament narrowly elected former prime minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali as president of Puntland on Wednesday, backing his campaign against corruption and insecurity in the relatively peaceful Somali region.
 
At the tip of the Horn of Africa and with a third of Somalia's population of about 10 million, the semi-autonomous Puntland spans the north of Somalia and has largely escaped the worst of the country's upheaval of the last 20 years.
 
Somalia's central government and foreign powers advocating a loose federal political system in Somalia have held Puntland up as a possible model, having avoided the worst of a seven-year insurgency fought by militants seeking to impose a strict interpretation of sharia law.
 
But acts of violence have risen, the latest of which killed seven people in a car bomb attack on an armed convoy escorting foreigners working for a company training local security forces, on Dec. 5 in Bosasso, a coastal city.
 
The authorities and Western diplomats are concerned al-Shabab may seek to strengthen ties with al-Qaida cells in Yemen, over the narrow Gulf of Aden.
 
Saciid Hassan Shire, the speaker for Puntland's parliament, declared Ali, an economist, the president-elect with 33 votes against outgoing leader Abdirahman Sheik Mohamed Farole who got 32 votes in a run-off during the third round of voting by deputies.
 
“I promise progress and peace for Puntland in the coming five years, let's all work together in improving the security and development,” Ali, a former prime minister for Somalia, said after his victory.
 
The United States congratulated Ali on his election and praised Farole for his commitment to holding the elections in a timely and peaceful manner.
 
“The United States views this election as a hopeful step towards a strengthened federal state for Somalia. We encourage both the new Puntland Administration and the Federal Government of Somalia to work together to outline a path forward for Puntland to join the federal system,” Will Stevens, the State Department's Africa spokesman said in a statement.
 
“We welcome President Ali's commitment to continue progress toward democratization, and to promote the rights and well-being of Puntland's residents,” he said.
 
During the campaign, Ali accused Farole of corruption and failing to curb insecurity. Farole has denied the allegations.
 
Farole told Reuters last year the number of al-Shabab militants in the region had risen after African troops drove them out of their southern strongholds.
 
Michele Cervone d'Urso, the EU special envoy to Somalia who attended the vote, said it had set a benchmark for peaceful elections for the rest of Somalia.
 
“The election is a positive for the democratization process. Now the president-elect can focus on defusing tensions between the different group of supporters,” he told Reuters.
 
The region, roughly one-third of Somalia's geographical area, is believed to be rich in undeveloped energy resources and is being sized up by oil explorers.
 
Ali is yet to make his views on the oil exploration in the region public. Farole had said he would not allow Mogadishu to award oil contracts to foreign firms.
 
“It is hoped that he will fight al-Shababin an effort to tighten security,” Hussein Abdirahman, a history lecturer at Mogadishu University's branch in Bosasso told Reuters.
 
“Being an economist, people hope he will also improve economy and political ties with the federal government.”

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Goghi
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid