Puntland in Turmoil                        



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Peace Rally Supports Puntland Traditional Clan Elders' Election Decision


July 25, 2001


Bossaso City, Jul 25, 2001 (Somali Peace Rally/All Africa Global Media)-It is with great pleasure that the Somali Peace Rally (SPR) has received and read the strong statement in support of regional election establishment in Puntland State of Somalia, in August 2001, issued by Puntland traditional clan elders at the Growe meeting in Puntland State of Somalia, on 25th July 2001.


The statement by Puntland clan elders is a profound manifestation of the sentiment of the Puntland people for an end to the power abuse and the destructive activities by the former administration of Col. Abdullahi Yousuf who deeply damaged the Social fabric of Puntland people in the last three years of his ruling.


The statement and the display of political tolerance by the Puntland traditional clan elders strongly encourage Puntland participants in the upcoming regional election conference in Gorowe City of Puntland State of Somalia, including Puntland intellectuals and rational politicians, to collectively work on finding rational, sustainable and equitable peace stability in the regions and on devising sound regional development policies to alleviate poverty and to foster effective regional institutional arrangements.


The statement by the Puntland clan elders also encourages Puntland people, Puntland politicians and civil society to strive for a lasting peace in Puntland and to develop a principled, balanced and comprehensive framework for the resolution of all the issues that underlie Punland State's current political crisis.


Certainly, the statement by Puntland clan elders calms the situation on ground, promote a climate of political tolerance among Puntland leaders and protect human rights of all people, given the Puntland clan elders' strong position in Puntland State of Somalia. It is through a dialogue that the Puntland people will decide their political future.


The former Puntland leadership and his supporters have put the Puntland State into the dire straits: the former leadership has encouraged injustice, used regional defence forces against Puntland people to foster its policy of 'divide and rule' and has allocated regional resources for personal purposes. Today, the previous leadership of Puntland and his supporters seem to be transforming their loyal forces into rebellion groups in order to perpetuate their previous evil activities.


The crisis in Puntland was a crisis arising from Puntland's previous leadership culture of lack of respect to constitutional principles, or perhaps its inability to gauge the consequences of their contempt of the law of the land.


In 1998, the year of Puntland establishment, hope for the future was lodged in a shared idea of all Puntland people: common laws protecting all citizens of Puntland, institutions that could foster unity amongst these sisterly regions which could be built on to reach national cohesion; and the mobilisation of Puntland's resource that could also be used for Puntland institutional and society-building, not for the destruction of the social fabric of these peace loving people.


The main fundamental principles of the 1998 Puntland "social contract" that received official endorsement by the previous Puntland authority, previous Parliament and present clan elders were, among others, (a) resettling internally displaced persons, (b) developing a comprehensive social and economic three year plan aimed at rehabilitation, reconstruction, improvement of livelihoods, reconciliation and basic social services, (c) drafting laws on institutional arrangements of local government and decentralisation, and (d) organising and conducting a census to facilitate the planning and the work of a neutral electoral commission with a mandate to call for a referendum.


Unfortunately, the former Puntland leadership which is now raising up as a Puntland warlord, did not address the above-mentioned development principles, nor did it attempt them in terms of action oriented-policies during its three year of managing Puntland affairs. Instead, the Puntland authority managed to encourage destructive activities which are, inter alia, assassinations (like those in Bari, Mudug and Nugal region recently), roadblocks, intimidation, detention and insecurity.


The previous leadership was out there to rip off the national resources and destroy the traditional system by using imperialist tactics. The average Puntlanders were so hopeless that investment and development become forgotten dreams during the three-year ruling of former administration. The daily livelihood and security issues have pre-occupied people's minds.


Sponsoring Somali warlords who are the architects of Somalia's destruction has become the previous Puntland authority's new found political program. It now seems that the former leadership in Garoowe city and his supporter are determined to spend the taxpayers' collected money in all sorts of activities to divide people of Puntland and firmly rule the people with foreign forces and their selfish militiamen.


The Somali Peace Rally recommends Puntland politicians, civil society and Puntland participants in the upcoming election conference to facilitate a leadership which can create effective Puntland regional and local governments and can strengthen the Puntland State's capacity to co-ordinate the regional policies. Puntland's new leadership should be able to build the pillars of stability in all regions of Puntland State: prosperity, security, justice and respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms.


The SPR firmly urges the Puntland State's future leadership to uphold good governance of Puntland's socio-economic and political institutions, to prevent from degenerating into catastrophes. There can be no healthy Puntland State affairs without visionary leadership, without respect for the rule of law (including the constitution), without social cohesiveness and protection of civil rights.


We, Somali Peace Rally (SPR), endorse our clan elders' wise decision for holding election and their call for lasting peace in Puntland State of Somalia.


Distributed via COMTEX News.



Islamic movement declares holy war against Puntland leader


August 25, 2001


Text of report in English by Somali pro-Puntland web site AllPuntland.com on 24 August


We, the joint Mujahidin forces of Al-Ittihad Somalia Islamic Movement, and the newly formed armed groups, the Total Liberation Tigers (TSLT), under the command and leadership of Lt-Col Jama Ali Jama, have begun, this week, a long awaited struggle and war to overthrow the pro-Ethiopian regime of Abdullahi Yusuf, the so-called president of Puntland.


Our holy war, jihad, against Abdullahi Yusuf has now reached its biggest success. We captured this week the strategic port of Boosaaso in the northeast Somalia, and are now heading to liberate the rest of the region.


In an attempt to recapture the port of Boosaaso the Puntland dervish [as published] police supported by Ethiopian military advisers, their weapons, have tried yesterday to attack our positions in the city, but was repulsed and inflicted on heavy losses by our joint forces.


Our sector command, under the leadership of Lt-Col Jama Ali Jama, have confirmed us through telephone on yesterday night the Mujahidin gallant forces have killed over 20 and wounded over 50 pro-Puntland Abdullahi Yusuf dervish mercenaries.


The Boosaaso victory over the evil followers of Abdullahi Yusuf [of] Puntland is the beginning of a new kind of jihad liberation not only in northeastern regions but in all parts of Somalia, as well as the Somali inhabited regions occupied by Ethiopia and Kenya African colonialists.


We call upon those who share with us [the] struggle and destiny to wage a total jihad against Abdullahi Yusuf's regime and similar groups, such as the socalled Somaliland and Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council [SRRC], who are all Ethiopia's agents.


We particularly appeal to those forces in Transitional Government of Somalia, who are based in Mogadishu the capital, to organize their military and economic power in order to liberate the whole country and establish and alternative real Islamic state in Somalia.


Allahu Akbar [God is great]

Boosaaso, London.


Source: AllPuntland.com web site in English 24 Aug 01.

[AllPuntland.com supports deposed Puntland leader Col Abdullahi Yusuf]


2001 The British Broadcasting Corporation [date of publication].



Foreign aid agencies blamed for the collapse of Puntland

September 01, 2001


Text of report in English by Somali pro-Puntland web site AllPuntland.com on 31 August

Combined destabilizing efforts of foreign aid agencies, and Arta faction [interim government] leadership in Mogadishu, have tried to dismember the Puntland state government, and topple its legitimate president, Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, known to be a strong political rival of the so-called Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, sponsored by Mr David Stephen, the UN special envoy for Somalia.


To carry out this plan, a number of top advisers of the president were secretly recruited to conceive a workable strategy aimed to overthrow the current Puntland administration, and to install a pliable leadership in Garowe [Puntland], prepared to surrender under the control of the TNG of Mr Abdiqasim Salad Hasan of Mogadishu. This destructive exercise was going on in the last 18 months, and was regarded as a first priority assignment to the TNG administration.


Acts of sabotage


While external forces and NGOs were handling the technical and financial details of the operation, the team of local renegades were fomenting clan discontents and provocative urban disorders in Boosaaso [Puntland] town, sabotaging its international seaport and airport.


These acts were supposedly planned to provoke an economic havoc in the region, and strike fear and panic to the population, forcing the government either to surrender to this remote-controlled uprising or repress it through a huge and cruel military operation. In both ways a satisfactory political result would have been easily obtained.


For quite a long time, the UN agencies of Nairobi, under the instructions of the Political Office, were facilitating and financing the conception of this conspiracy through false consultancies, contracts and appointments to prominent influential Puntlanders involved in the aid business and in the Puntland political management. Although they pretending false loyalties [as published] to the State of Puntland and to its president, these individuals were sharing [the] same political views with their foreign masters, and affiliated to the TNG through constant personal contacts at the highest levels.


Since the beginning of the Arta process, these elements were undermining the political atmosphere of the state, and knew all the weaknesses of its fragile institutions. At the end, they came up with a final design to subjugate the bright political intransigence of President Abdullahi Yusuf, and collapse temporarily his administration.


Foreign funding


Through the active intermediation of the above renegades, the TNG poured hundreds of thousands of US dollars in the pockets of the most greedy and irresponsible Puntland elders, and bought their support and loyalty with the promise of more substantial presents and positions to come. Their duty was to incite their respective sub clans and withdraw their support to the administration at the most suitable time, to be communicated in due course.


Corruption as a means of governance is the TNG's political motto, and the dirty Arab money had been the persuasive instrument to destabilize most of the quite corners of the country, such as Puntland and Somaliland.


In order to re-enforce the conspiracy plan, an unholy alliance was forged between all those circles opposed to the very existence of Puntland state, whereby the Islamic extremists of Al-Ittihad and Al-Qa'da of Usamah bin Ladin were the in [as published] the forefront of the coup d'etat, and its devoted armed forces.


The political impatience of an ambitious Bari sub clan was also used for the conspiracy, and its leaders allured for their glorious past history and power, and the plight to reinstate them in the limelight of the region soon again.


The deceptive ground work accurately prepared by the joint evil forces of the above heterogeneous alliances have succeeded to produce the current constitutional crises in Puntland, and fearful anxieties to its peace loving population, shattered by an unimaginable political divisions orchestrated by their old foes in Mogadishu.




Suddenly, old dramatic images and nightmares reappeared in the minds of almost all Puntland inhabitants in remembrance of the atrocities suffered and the lives and properties lost in Mogadishu during the hateful ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Mr. Abdiqasim Salad Hasan and his clansmen. For them such an individual cannot proclaim the presidency and the leadership of a reunited Somalia. His hands are still dripping the fresh blood of Kismaayo where his loyal TNG militiamen are murdering, looting and raping unarmed civilian population of Puntland origin.


During a recent BBC radio interview, he has proudly admitted his military intervention in Kismaayo and the cruelties caused by his soldiers and militiamen.


Support for Abdullahi Ahmad


President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad and his administration stand for the total protection of all Puntlanders wherever they are: their lives, territories and properties. He has been mandated to safeguard and defend the stability and the security of Puntland state from external or internal aggression, and commissioned to search for a dignified and rightful political reconciliation within the framework of a federal state system in Somalia. These priorities had been remarkably accomplished so far.


The administration of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad enjoys the unconditional support of the entire Puntland population inside and outside the country and, no matter the scale of the corrupt conspiracies plotted by the TNG and its founding fathers ([Djibouti President Ismael] Umar Gelleh and David Stephen), in collusion to their Trojan horses in the region, the vigilant political awareness of the Puntland population will defend their sovereignty and development from any coward attempt might be conceived to harm the prevailing peace in their country.


No matter how many millions of inflated dirty Arab money might be inundated in the region for corruptive intentions or how many consenting renegade individuals and judges might be instigated, only the supreme will of Puntland institutions and its population will determine the future of their political autonomy and self rule.


That is what conspirators and traitors of the Puntland existence have not put properly into account.


Source: AllPuntland.com web site in English 31 Aug 01.

[AllPuntland.com supports deposed Puntland leader Col Abdullahi Yusuf]


2001 The British Broadcasting Corporation [date of publication].



Al-Ittihad active in Puntland, says ex-official


October 03, 2001


Excerpt from report in English by Somali pro-Puntland web site AllPuntland.com on 2 October


The claim by the Arta faction [transitional government] and some rebel traditional elders in Garowe that there was no Al-Ittihad movement in Somalia holds no water. In fact, this organization with its worldwide connection and network is now more assertive and aggressive than ever before in its manifestations to establish extremist state in Somalia; a state led and ran by dark forces of terrorism and tyranny never experienced before in Somalia.


The leadership of the Arta faction draws its security and financial support mainly from Al-Ittihad membership and all colours of the same movement like Al-Islah to which Abdiqasim Salad Hassan [president of the transitional government] himself belong to.


Conglomerates of Al-Barakat [international Somali remittance bank] finance the destabilization policy of the so-called the TNG [Transitional National Government] against other peaceful parts of Somalia.


Yesterday's statement by some confused Puntland elders denying the existence of Al-Ittihad movement in Puntland state shows the power and influence this radical group has even on the traditional system and the extent this extremist organization has managed to infiltrate into the body fabric of our society.


The statement issued by Garowe elders could not mislead the international community into believing a fiction on the non-existence of an illegal organization whose track record of terrorism is known throughout the sub-region. These elders cannot deny the fact on the ground including Al-Ittihad attempt to overthrow the state government of Puntland and its known connection with terrorist networks worldwide.


Moreover, Al-Ittihad membership are now engaged in a campaign of displaying pictures of Usamah Bin-Laden, affixing them on walls, cars, lorries and buses in the Puntland port city of Boosaaso.


Al-Ittihad Al-Islami is in the move not only in Puntland State, but also throughout Somalia. Simple denial of their existence is a naive attempt to cover up acts of terrorism and destabilization of Somalia's only peaceful recovery zones like Puntland State of Somalia...


[Signed] Isma'il H. Warsame, chief of cabinet


Source: AllPuntland.com web site in English 2 Oct 01.

[AllPuntland.com supports deposed Puntland leader Col Abdullahi Yusuf]


2001 The British Broadcasting Corporation [date of publication].



Al-Ittihad reportedly setting up training camps in Puntland


October 10, 2001


Text of press statement in English by the cabinet office of the deposed Puntland leader Abdullahi Yusuf, dated 9 October, posted on the Somali pro-Puntland web site AllPuntland.com on 10 October.


Information reaching this office from port city of Boosaaso, Puntland State [northeastern Somalia], say that since the launching of USA-led offensive against terrorism in Afghanistan, Al-Ittihad [Islamist] movement has stepped up recruitment and training of the unemployed youth in Bari and Sanaag regions of Puntland State of Somalia.


According to this report, military training camps had been set up in undeveloped areas not far from towns of Boosaaso and Ceelaayo and Laas Qoray of Sanaag region.


It is believed that Al-Ittihad organization of Mogadishu has been sending newly-conscripted youth to Boosaaso in an intention to assist in its plans to overthrow the administration of Puntland State of Somalia after convening a non-participatory and openly provocative congress in Garowe, Puntland State.


Earlier, 119 young men, who were transported secretly from Mogadishu, had been captured in a police checkpoint in Mudug (Gaalkacyo). They were on their way to Boosaaso.


Gaalkacyo police has learned through interrogation that at least 400 youth from Mogadishu had entered Boosaaso in a covert operation for either training purpose or they were already trained men on their way to give support to Usamah Bin-Ladin in accordance with Al-Ittihad's recent statement in Mogadishu following 11 September terrorist attack in New York and Washington.


The Prime Minister of the Arta faction [interim government] had announced that his administration was "behind the Garowe conference" to destabilize the administration of Puntland State, in a recent interview picked up in voice and written by most Somali web sites.


[Signed] Isma'il H. Warsame, chief of cabinet


Source: AllPuntland.com web site in English 10 Oct 01.

[AllPuntland.com supports deposed Puntland leader Col Abdullahi Yusuf]


2001 The British Broadcasting Corporation [date of publication].



Clan Elders Elect President in Somalia's Puntland Region


November 14, 2001


MOGADISHU, November 14 (Xinhua) - Jama Ali Jama was elected as president of Somalia's autonomous region of Puntland at a congress of clan elders on Wednesday.


Jama is a former military officer in the army of ex-dictator Mohaned Siad Barre, who was toppled in 1991.


The congress attended by 452 delegates representing the various Darod communities, also elected Ahmed Mohamed Gonle as vice president.


Likewise all of the traditional leaders have been present with the chairmanship of Islan Mohamed Islan Muse, the most powerful traditional leader in Garoweh town which is the headquarters of Puntland.


The chairman of the conference, which continued since August 26, has congratulated the winners and urged them to serve the people to the best of their ability.


After election, New President Jama Ali Jama told reporters that his priority will be the restoration of peace in the region.


However, the ousted former president of Puntland Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed has dismissed the meeting and its outcome.


In a letter he distributed to the media organizations, Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf has characterized the entire meeting as illegal and therefore he does not recognize its outcome.


Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf said the meeting in Garoweh town has been sponsored by what he called Al-Itihad Al-Islam, a Somali Islamist group which the United States recently put on its list of terrorist organizations.


Abdullahi Yusuf emerged as president when the northeastern Somali region was founded as an "autonomous state" in August 1998.


Copyright 2001 Xinhua News Agency



Puntland town said "almost empty", major clash feared

November 23, 2001


Nairobi, 23 November: Families are fleeing their homes in Garoowe, the regional capital of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, in fear of renewed fighting, a local journalist told IRIN. They are doing so because of reports of militia approaching the town, and the fear of more clashes, Muhammad Sa'id Kashawito of Midnimo radio said on Friday [23 November].


He said some of the people had reached the region's commercial capital, Boosaaso, 480 km north of Mogadishu. "They are fleeing in all directions, but mostly to towns close to Garoowe." There were reports of more militia moving toward the town, he said. "People are talking of a convoy of 60 vehicles moving toward Garoowe."


Another source in Garoowe told IRIN the town was almost empty and that "people are taking their children and families out to safer places". The source said most businesses were closed, but telecommunications, which had been cut on Wednesday, were back on Friday. Garoowe was captured on Wednesday by forces loyal to the region's former leader, Col Abdullahi Yusuf from those of the recently elected president of Puntland, Jama Ali Jama.


The forces of Jama Ali Jama and others opposed to Abdullahi Yusuf were reportedly mobilizing, and "there is a real fear of a major confrontation inside Garoowe" within the next day or two, the source told IRIN. The source said Abdullahi's forces were in control of the town, but he himself was reported to be in Ligle village, seven kilometres south of Garoowe.


Meanwhile, UN agencies have condemned the fighting and called for the protection of civilians and for continuing humanitarian access, a press release from the office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said on Thursday. It said a pattern of peace was gradually emerging in Somalia, and that the recent outbreak of violence was a setback. "UN plans to bring international staff back to parts of the region this week after a three month suspension have been put on hold again, because of the fighting in the region."


UN agencies and the Somalia Aid Coordination Body members were very concerned about any actions that could worsen the already fragile humanitarian conditions of Somalia, and "call upon all parties to the current conflicts in Somalia to exercise maximum restraint", said the statement.


Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network, Nairobi, in English 23 Nov 01.


2001 The British Broadcasting Corporation [date of publication].











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