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Déjà Vu: The Farole – Sharif Debacle
Biyokulule Online
January 18, 2011


 


To the followers of Somali politics, the press release and the press conference held by the Puntland Administration last Sunday, seems like the rerun of the political showdown that occurred in the same month two years ago between Farole and Sharif. The whole event which was spread over a period of about three weeks (January 24, 2009 to February 14, 2009) was characterized by a media blitz, listing numerous grievances on the part of Farole. That public outcry was centered on the necessity to include Puntland in the then power-sharing process in Djibouti between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the opposition. Farole repeatedly stressed that he had to be consulted with the selection of the additional members of parliament (MP) that would represent the clans that inhabit the Puntland region; otherwise, his Administration would view the whole process as being illegal.


On the eve of Sharif`s election, Farole issued a strong statement against the newly formed parliament, since he was not given the authority to select those MPs that would represent the clans from the Puntland regions (as these additional 275 MPs would be part of the election process for the new President). Farole clearly emphasized his objection to the whole process of the Djibouti power-sharing talks and its outcome.


Once Sharif was crowned President of Somalia, Farole started the campaign to secure the number two post of the TFG which is that of the Prime Minister (PM). The Puntland Administration threatened to withdraw its support for the newly appointed President and to secede from Somalia if Sharif did not choose the new PM among the list of names submitted to him by Farole.


Two days after, upon the selection of Omar A. Sharmarke as the new Somali PM by Sharif, Puntland welcomed the newly formed government and became a staunch supporter of federalism.


After reviewing these facts, some questions need to be answered. Biyokulule Online will also take this opportunity to draw a parallel between those events and the current stance of Farole`s Administration.


If the main objection to the Djibouti power-sharing process was the lack of consultation with Puntland with regards to the selection of the new 275 MPs, why the change of heart once Sharmarke was named PM of Somalia?


Could it be that the whole public outcry was a political ploy to secure the number two post in the TFG?


Therefore, do we have to literally take at face value Sunday`s press release, which stated that Farole`s Administration had withdrawn all its support from the TFG?


Are we expecting within the coming days, after some behind the scenes political maneuvers, to see Farole back peddle and recant his statements putting the blame on his mouthpiece ergo, Minister Daud Mohamed Omar (Bisinle), followed by another press release which will once again support federalism?


Let us assume that this time around, the political strategy previously utilized by Farole reaches its exhaustion and the TFG as well as the International Community do not respond to his threats and demands; do he and his cabinet have the right to unilaterally decide the fate of all Puntlanders?


As we know, Puntland was formed in 1998 as a regional administration that is part and parcel of Somalia. The elders of all the clans that inhabit the regions of Puntland agreed upon the creation of this Administration as an entity that is part of Somalia. Therefore, on the issue of withdrawal and secession from Somalia, there must be a consensus by all the clans who were part of the agreement from the inception of Puntland – in essence there must be at least a referendum.


Roobdoon Forum has previously articulated on the hidden agenda of some zealot Puntlanders who are beating the drums to have Puntland as a separate entity from the rest of Somalia.


Undoubtedly, another example that will create resentment towards the current leadership will be if it tries to toe the line with the current mood of over-zealous supporters of Puntland, who are pushing the idea of an independent state entity, without referendum. If this happens, Puntland leadership alone will be held responsible for Somali Weyn humiliation. [Read Here]


Biyokulule Online presents to its readership, a compilation of news articles based on the theatrical showdown between Farole and the organizing committee of the TFG power-sharing process that was being held in Djibouti in 2009.


Somalia`s Puntland region seeks role in Djibouti peace process
Xinhua News Agency
January, 24, 2009


BOSASSO, Somalia, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The new leaders of the northeastern semiautonomous Somali region of Puntland on Saturday said they are seeking a role in the on-going power-sharing process in Djibouti between the Somali transitional government and the opposition.


The transitional government and the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) are currently meeting in Djibouti to implement a power sharing agreement signed last year after UN sponsored marathon peace talks between the two sides.


In a letter sent to the UN Secretary General envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-abdallah, the newly elected President of Puntland Abdirahman Mohamed Farole said the new administration “will continue to support any legitimate, meaningful and representative reconciliation” of the Somali people in the future.


The Puntland administration said it is not “represented reasonably in the reconciliation process under the sponsorship of the United Nations and the international community”.


Under Somalia`s power sharing formula known as the 4.5 scheme, power and government posts are divided with four parts going to the main four clans while the left half part for the other smaller clans.


“Any appointment for the new parliament, allocated through the 4.5 scheme within the current Djibouti process and intended for the people of this part of Somalia, shall be forwarded to the administration and hence appointed by respective constituencies and its Civil Society Groups,” said the regional President in the letter to Ould Abdalla.


Puntland leaders has said they will not recognize as “legitimate representatives” of their people appointed through “informal picks ups” and without the consultation of the administration and its constituencies.


The Somali government and the opposition agreed to form a government of national unity after the expansion of the current parliament membership. Nearly 275 new members will be included with 200 from the ARS which will allocate members among Somalia`s different clans in accordance with the 4.5 scheme which is used to form the current parliament.


Puntland, founded in 1998, receives its share of the government as part of the Darod clan which predominantly inhabit the semiautonomous state which vehemently seeks to preserve its status as an autonomous region within wider federal Somalia.


© 2009 Xinhua News Agency


Puntland leader rejects reconciliation talks in Djibouti
BBC Monitoring Africa
January 25, 2009


The President of Puntland Region has sent a letter to the UN Special Envoy to Somalia, Ahmadou Ould Abdalla, who is brokering the reconciliation talks in Djibouti.


The Puntland president, Abdirahman Muhammad Farole, said as far as they are concerned, the talks do not include all Somalis. The Puntland leader said his administration, which plays an important role in the situation in Somalia, has not been invited into the reconciliation talks in Djibouti.


The letter sent by the Puntland leader surprised the UN who were not expecting it. Some UN officials said they would consider the grievances by the Puntland administration.


The new Puntland administration views the Djibouti talks as one sided and one that does not have the interest of the Somali people at heart. The new Puntland administration also views the participants of the Djibouti talks as not having been fairly selected.


The four most important points in the statement issued by the Puntland Administration are:


1. Puntland will be part of all reconciliation talks and any public resolutions in Somalia as long as they are fairly conducted.


2. That those appointed to participate in such events be representatives of the various sections of the population and the civil society groups.


3. That the Puntland administration be informed in all matters pertaining to the electing of parliamentarians which is currently ongoing and has been decided that it will be on the ratio of 4:5.


4. That the Puntland administration will not acknowledge any Member of Parliament who is elected to represent the region without consulting the administration. Their appointment will be viewed as illegal.


The above resolutions are a set back to many politicians who hail from Puntland Region and have been added on the list of MPs proposed by the group opposing the Transitional Federal Government [TFG].


Source: AllPuntland.com website in Somali 25 Jan 09


© 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Text of report by Somali pro-Puntland government website on 25 January


Puntland`s New Leaders Want Role in Djibouti Peace Process
January 26, 2009


Jan 26, 2009 (Garowe Online/All Africa Global Media) -- The newly elected leadership in Somalia`s Puntland regional authority wants the region to play a important role in the ongoing Somali reconciliation process in Djibouti, Radio Garowe reports.


In a letter issued Saturday, Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed “Farole,” Puntland`s new president, said the regional government supports “any political and social reconciliation initiative for Somalia.”


The letter was addressed to UN Special Envoy to Somalia, Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, who was thanked for his efforts to achieve reconciliation and restore national order in the chaotic Horn of Africa country.


“Any appointment for the new parliament, allocated through the 4.5 scheme within the current Djibouti process and intended for the people of this part of Somalia, shall be forwarded to the administration and hence appointed by respective constituencies,” the letter said.


Somali government officials (TFG) and opposition delegates (ARS) meeting in Djibouti are anticipated to expand the country`s parliament, which will include representatives from an Islamist-dominated opposition faction. READ: Somalia`s presidential election to be held in Djibouti


The new seats in parliament will be allocated through the 4.5 power-sharing formula, which divides power among the Somalis` four major clan-families and an alliance of minority clans.


The Puntland administration`s new position vis-a-vis the Djibouti peace process might face resistance, mainly from ARS leaders who want to hand-pick lawmakers for the expanded parliament.


But Puntland President Farole`s letter warns: “Any new members appointed through informal picks and without the consultation of the administration and its constituencies will not be recognized as legitimate representatives of our people.”


Meanwhile, Puntland`s new Council of Ministers held the first official Cabinet meeting on Thursday in Garowe, the region`s administrative capital.


The meeting primarily focused on restructuring the security forces, applying the budget and preparing the government`s four-year political program.


On security affairs, the ministries of Security, Internal Affairs and Information were instructed to work together.


Dr. Farole said an economic committee will be appointed soon to oversee the region`s economic conditions, including assessing government revenue and expenditures.


The Council of Ministers formally decided to continue using the old budget until the Farole administration presents a new budget to parliament, officials said after the meeting.


© 2009 AllAfrica, All Rights Reserved


Puntland Warns Against Misrepresentation At Djibouti Talks
All Africa
January 28, 2009


Jan 28, 2009 (Garowe Online/All Africa Global Media) -- Government leaders in Somalia`s semiautonomous northeastern state of Puntland have warned that the Djibouti peace process might lead to deeper clan divisions, Radio Garowe reports.


Warsame Abdi “Sefta-Bananka,” Puntland`s new information minister, told a Tuesday press conference in the regional capital Garowe that Puntland supports all peace initiatives for Somalia.


“As a matter of policy, we are a Somali federal state called Puntland, which supports stability in Somalia, recognizes national laws and welcomes the creation of an inclusive Somali Republic,” Information Minister Sefta-Bananka said.


He spoke about Somalia`s new parliament, which will be expanded to 550 seats under a peace deal with Islamists, saying: “We warn against new MPs [in expanded parliament] who have no support from the Somali clans, especially the people of Puntland.”


Mr. Sefta-Bananka said there are only three politicians from Puntland currently in Djibouti who are part of the Islamist-led ARS opposition faction, but he did not name them.


Under the Djibouti Agreement, the ARS receives 200 out of the additional 275 seats in an expanded parliament that will elect a new president following last month`s resignation of ex-President Abdullahi Yusuf, a former Puntland ruler.


ARS leaders had decided to divide the new 200 MPs according to the 4.5 formula, in accordance with the clan-based system the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is based on.


The Puntland information minister`s concerns echoed a letter Puntland President Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed “Farole” sent to UN Special Envoy to Somalia, Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, demanding appropriate representation at the Djibouti talks. READ: Puntland`s new leaders want role in Djibouti peace process


In Somalia, the ARS and its core leadership is primarily seen as a political entity that is largely representative of the Hawiye clan-family, which is predominant in the central regions and Mogadishu.


The government of Puntland, home to the northern Darod clans, has not directly sent representatives to join the Djibouti peace process, which began in mid-2008 and is now in its final stage.


However, Puntland-appointed MPs have been part of the TFG parliament since its formation in 2004, as part of the regional authority`s efforts to boost reconciliation and restore national order.


Many people fear the expanded parliament presents a threat to the federal system of government, largely seen as the only alternative to Islamist rule in Somalia.


© 2009 AllAfrica, All Rights Reserved


Somali lawmaker quits presidential race; says Djibouti talks “hijacked”
BBC Monitoring Africa
January 29, 2009


Excerpt from report by Somali pro-Puntland government website on 29 January


Some Somali parliamentarians who previously supported the Djibouti peace talks aimed at merging the government and the armed opposition alliance [Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia] are now expressing their concerns over the talks.


The Somali MPs have described the talks as a conspiracy aimed at dividing Somalia. They said there was no need of hurrying in the talks in Djibouti.


MP Abdi Abdulle Said (Jiniboqor) has said the talks have been hijacked and are being used to violate the charter of the Somali Transitional Federal Government. He also confirmed that he had quit the presidential race.


The MP strongly criticized the way talks are being handled, adding that the MPs [who have been in office since 2004] are being treated badly. He said there were some individuals who wanted to personalize the talks.


He said the amendments passed by the parliament have not been made in a responsible way and that the MPs have been given instructions to approve the amendments. Mr Said added that because of this he had decided to quit the race. [Passage omitted].


Abdi Abdulle who hails from Puntland, is among the parliamentarians who opposed the policies of former Somali interim President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad. The MPs accused Yusuf of being an obstacle to the peace process.


Source: AllPuntland.com website in Somali 29 Jan 09


© 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Puntland says to reject outcome of Djibouti peace talks
BBC Monitoring Africa
January 30, 2009


Text of report by Somali independent Radio Gaalkacyo on 29 January


The president of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Abdirahman Muhammad Farole, has said that his administration would not recognize the outcome of Djibouti peace talks.


The president of Puntland, Abdirahman Muhammad Farole, said that his administration would not accept any result from the ongoing peace talks and the formation of the unity government in Dijbouti.


The president mentioned that the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia had not consulted with his administration over the selection of the new MPs from the ARS faction, adding that the selection was not free and fair.


Mr Farole also blamed the UN especial envoy for Somalia, Ahmad Ould Abdullah, for rushing the talks without giving enough time for the invitation of delegations to the talks, selection of MPs and the formation of the government, as well as, the election of the president. He said that the UN envoy was not dealing with Somali situation fairly.


The president also said Puntland had a right to be among the decision makers in the selection of the new MPs from ARS saying that they were all from the southern regions. He said the new MPs cannot represent the Somali government. The president reiterated the need for using the clan-based power-sharing formula in selecting the parliamentarians and in the formation of the government.


The president finally said that his administration does not recognize the outcome of the Djibouti peace conference.


In the mean time, residents of Puntland have expressed concerns over the peace conference in Dijbouti, saying that the [new] government only represents people from the southern regions of the country. The protest comes as hundreds of residents held demonstrations against the Djibouti conference in Gaalkacyo [provincial capital of Mudug Region]. They said the talks are being handled in the wrong way.


Source: Radio Gaalkacyo, Gaalkacyo, in Somali 1015 gmt 29 Jan 09


© 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Puntland cabinet rejects Guelleh`s invitation to attend poll
BBC Monitoring Africa
January 30, 2009


Excerpt from report by Somali pro-Puntland government Puntlandpost website on 30 January


A meeting of cabinet ministers from Puntland region discussed an invitation by the president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, who invited senior officials of the Puntland Administration to Djibouti. The cabinet ministers agreed not to go to Djibouti until the international community that is brokering the Djibouti talks formally invites the Puntland Administration.


The Puntland Administration has in the past said they will not accept the outcome of the Djibouti talks. They said they have been ignored as an administration and will not therefore accept whatever that comes out of the Djibouti talks. [Passage omitted]


Source: Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 30 Jan 09


Residents of Puntland region reject Somali presidential election result
BBC Monitoring Africa
February 01, 2009


Text of report by Somali opposition Radio Voice of Mudug on 31 January


Puntland residents have rejected the result of the newly-elected president of Somalia Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad, saying that he was not elected fairly.


Most of the local residents said that the outcome of the peace conference in Djibouti was not in the interest of the Somali people and therefore they would not recognize him as a new president.


Demonstrations against the peace conference of Somalia was held in Gaalkacyo and Garoowe [Main towns of Puntland]. The demonstrators were saying that the conference was hijacked by international community and the UN and the new MPs of ARS [Alliance for Reliberation of Somalia], and that it was not shared in accordance with power-sharing system.


Puntland leader had previously said that his administration would not recognize any outcome from the peace conference in Djibouti, accusing the UN especial envoy to Somalia of not dealing with the situation of Somalia fairly.


Source: Radio Voice of Mudug, in Somali 1330 gmt 31 Jan 09


© 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Puntland reportedly threatens to withdraw confidence in President Ahmad
BBC Monitoring Africa
February 12, 2009


Text of report by Somali website Somaaljecel on 11 February


Reports from officials close to the Puntland administration and from some lawmakers of the Somali government say that leaders of the Puntland administration have requested Somali President Shaykh Sharif to nominate a new Somali prime minister from a Puntland clan, arguing that power is shared in government in accordance with the 4.5 arrangement.


The reports say that the Puntland administration threatened to withdraw its confidence in the government of Shaykh Sharif and to secede from the rest of Somalia if a Puntland citizen is not appointed as Somali prime minister.


Ali Abdullahi Osoble, a member of the Somali parliament, said they were puzzled by the Puntland regional administration`s threat to secede from the rest of Somalia if the post of prime minister was not given to it. Describing the threat as nonsense, the lawmaker said nobody would allow Puntland to secede from Somalia. Legislator Ali Abdullahi Osoble said the Somaliland administration deserved to occupy the prime minister`s post, because a man from Puntland had already served as Somali president. He said that government posts should be revolving.


Meanwhile, Marehan subclan legislators campaigning to get Maslah Muhammad Siyad Barre appointed prime minister are worried that Maslah might not get the post. They said that President Shaykh Sharif was under pressure from Puntland leaders and that he seemed to cave in to their demand.


The Marehan lawmakers threatened that if Maslah was not named prime minister, they would withdraw their confidence in Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad and would not work with his government.


Source: Somaaljecel website in Somali 11 Feb 09


© 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Puntland leader supports new Somali government, prime minister
BBC Monitoring Africa
February 14, 2009


Text of report by privately-owned Somali Shabeelle Media Network website on 14 February


The Puntland Administration has for the first time come out in support of the new Somali government led by President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad. The Puntland administration has said they support the new administration and will work with it. They have also said they welcome the appointment of the new Somali prime minister.


The president of the Puntland Administration, Abdirahman Muhammad Mahmud Farole, today held a press conference at the presidency in Boosaaso, Puntland Region, and said he is satisfied with the appointment of the new prime minister and will work with the administration led by Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad.


President Farole said he is hopeful that the newly appointed prime minister can bring changes to the difficult situation in Somalia. He also said he was hopeful that the new government will establish federal administrations like the one in Puntland throughout the country.


This is the first time the Puntland Administration has come out in support of this new government. When the government led by President Shaykh Sharif was first formed in Djibouti, the Puntland Administration had said they will have nothing to do with it and will not support it.


Residents of Puntland have welcomed the new government led by President Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmad. Demonstrations in support of the appointment of the new prime minister, Umar Abdirashid [Ali Sharmarke]. were also held in Qardho, Puntland Region.


Source: Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 14 Feb 09


© 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Puntland Leader Supports Federalism, Welcomes New PM
February 16, 2009


Feb 16, 2009 (Garowe Online/All Africa Global Media) -- The regional president of Somalia`s Puntland State government cautiously welcomed new Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, while warning strongly about upholding the federal system of government in Somalia, Radio Garowe reports.


Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed “Farole,” Puntland`s newly elected president, held a press conference Saturday in the port city of Bossaso.


“We welcome the new Prime Minister, although I do not know him personally, but we all know he is the son of a famous Somali leader,” President Farole said, while referring to Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, Somalia`s last democratically elected president who was assassinated in October 1969. READ: Somalia`s Islamist presidents appoints Western-educated PM


Somalia`s new PM, Mr. Sharmake, is a Darod clansman who hails from the northern region of Puntland.


Puntland`s leader said the regional authority was “not consulted during Djibouti peace process,” yet he expressed support for any initiative that can bring last peace to Somalia, “especially the southern regions.”


President Farole reiterated that the regional authority`s constitution stipulates that Puntland can only be part of a federal government in Somalia, while warning against any effort to exclude Puntland from the future formation of a national constitution founded on federalism.


Meanwhile, Dr. Farole welcomed the Djiboutian government`s efforts to find peace in Somalia. He indicated that he will lead a Puntland delegation to Djibouti soon, after receiving an official invite from Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Ghelle.


On Friday, Puntland President Farole gave Friday`s religious sermon and led prayers at Da`wah Mosque in Bossaso, where he reportedly called on religious leaders to support the government`s efforts to combat crimes including piracy and human trafficking.


President Farole also encouraged Puntland`s Islamist community to take leading role in educating the public about “spoilers who misuse the clan system, promote insecurity or misinterpret the Islamic faith.”


It was the first time a Puntland leader has addressed congregants at one of Bossaso`s largest mosques. Dr. Farole also became the first Puntland president to lead prayers at a mosque in Garowe, the capital of Puntland.


© 2009 AllAfrica, All Rights Reserved


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