April 16, 2024

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Puntland Somalia

Puntland State of Somalia Announces Independence

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Puntland State of Somalia announced self governance a few hours ago. The move came after Somalia’s parliament approved controversial amendments on Saturday.

Somali law makers have been holding discussions for weeks to introduce constitutional amendments. Puntland and some opposition politicians have been opposing the amendments. On Saturday, amendments were approved at a joint session of the parliament. The constitutional changes give more powers to the President who can remove the Prime Minister now. The President will be elected through direct one-person-one-vote. Somalia had a clan based electoral system of forming parliament and electing President.

Puntland late at night issued a statement. Information Minister Mohamud Aydid Dirris read the statement on television. Puntland, the regional state of Somalia, announced through this statement that it stopped recognizing all federal institutions. Hassan Sheikh was no more recognized as country’s President. The FMS announced to operate as an independent state until mutually agreed constitution is formed and referendum is held.

It was being speculated that Puntland will resort to Nuclear Option and announce complete secession. But the announcement from Puntland is cutting off of ties with Mogadishu. It is not declaration of complete secession.

Somalia is already grappling with political challenge from Somaliland. Somaliland announced independence and secession with Somalia around 3 decades ago. Somaliland has working for international recognition as a country. Several rounds of talks between Somalia and Somaliland ended with no progress.

While Puntland President Seid Abdullahi Deni’s government announced to sever ties with federal government, interestingly Puntland federal MPs and Senators backed constitutional amendments passed on Saturday.

Somalia has been fighting to contain Al Shabaab led insurgency for years. Political instability always helped Al Shabaab survive and expand its influence. It seems Mogadishu-Garowe tensions are set to continue.

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