News / Africa

    Renewed Mandate in Doubt as Puntland Breaks Away From Somali Government

    Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, currently the President of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, speaks during a news conference in central London, Mar 9, 2010 (File Photo)
    Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, currently the President of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, speaks during a news conference in central London, Mar 9, 2010 (File Photo)

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Michael Onyiego

    The Puntland region has decided to separate from the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, dimming hopes for peace and stability as the government's internationally-backed mandate winds down.

    In the midst of a campaign for an extension on its expiring mandate, Somalia’s U.N.-backed Transitional Federal Government was dealt a major blow when Puntland recently announced the end of its cooperation with the struggling administration in Mogadishu.

    Puntland is a region in northeastern Somalia that has governed itself autonomously since 1998. Unlike neighbor Somaliland, which declared full independence in 1991, Puntland maintained ties to Mogadishu in the hope of eventually rejoining a stable, federated Somali state.

    The Puntland region has enjoyed relative peace and even prosperity, when compared to the war-torn south. But Sunday’s announcement reflected a growing dissatisfaction by Puntland with what it described as marginalization by politicians in Mogadishu.

    The announcement was justified by what the Puntland government decried as a lack of participation and representation at the Djibouti Peace Process. The meeting, held in 2008 and 2009, helped form the current Somali government, led by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

    The Puntland government also took issue with failure of the central government to share international development funds with other regions of Somalia.

    According to analyst E.J. Hogendoorn of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, however, the announcement was more a political maneuver than an attempt at separation.
    "The statement is essentially a shot across the bow, saying that if you do not start giving us more political consideration or more resources we can go our own way," said Hogendoorn.

    But the announcement does not bode well for the mandate of the transitional government, due to expire in August. One of the largest donors to Mogadishu is the United States, which recently unveiled a "Dual-Track" policy of simultaneously engaging the unrecognized state of Somaliland.

    Some analysts are worried Puntland’s separation spells the end for a unified Somalia, with the emergence of smaller regional states more likely. Hogendoorn said, though, that the chances of an independence declaration from Puntland are slim.

    "I think some people worry about that and that is certainly a possibility, but I do not see that happening anytime soon," said Hogendoorn. "People have seen what happened to Somaliland. Why go down that road? There are very few benefits that they will get from a declaration of independence."

    Somaliland has been a declared independent state since 1991, but has yet to receive formal international recognition. Although it has held multiple successful elections and been hailed as an example for the region, it has until recently been largely ignored by international donors.

    Though the clock is ticking on the transitional mandate, Hogendoorn believes it is possible to see the formation of a new government structure, with Puntland’s participation, come August.


    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora