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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid