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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid