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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
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 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 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.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid