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Issue 513/ 26th Nov - 4th Dec 2011
How Puntland Gets Away With Piracy
By Mohamud Aden Samatar
The Puntland Authority presents itself as an important part of any TFG, Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, formed and to the international community, and without it that any TFG couldn't work or survive. For any TFG that comes they always make sure that they have an important persons or decision maker in the TFG , like Prime Minster or President who could cover up the piracy issue and can avoid any blame or allegation against Puntland Authority involvement in the piracy business and Human trafficking..
In the current TFG the Puntland Authority have one of its own, the Prime Minster Abdi Wali, who hails from Puntland and is also a strong believer of Puntland and founder of Puntland Diaspora in Minnesota , USA. After president Sharif nominated A. Wali as his prime minister the Puntland Authority applauded and was endorsed by the current Puntland president Faroole and by the former Puntland and TFG president Abdillahi Yusuf , just because of clan affiliation, Majerten , and knowing that A. Wali will always stand for Puntland interest and present it as an important part of TFG.
When A.Wali assumed his premiership of the TFG, right away within few months in the office he struck an agreement with the Puntland Authority as a TFG representative, for Puntland to support the TFG and that Puntland gets its share of any assistance given to the TFG by international community. And for Puntland to explore its natural resource with international organizations, without the interference of TFG. Just like Abdillahi Yusuf and former prime minister, Sharmarke, signed for it.
Even though it's the TFG that should sign agreement with foreign companies , it became a habit for Puntland Authority and its representatives to get away with those agreements, without any consultation with other government leaders, be it the president or the prime minister, non Puntlanders.
When Abdillahi Yusuf was the TFG president and Ali Gedi was the prime minister, Gedi challenged the Puntland Authority for reaching an agreement with foreign companies to explore natural gases and oil. But in return the Puntland Authority frankly told Gedi that the president, A. Yusuf, gave them permission and signed an agreement with Puntland Authority.
Similarly when Sharmake was the Prime minister and Sharif was the president of the TFG, when Sharif spoke about regional authorities reaching an agreement with foreign companies, particularly Puntland, the Puntland Authority told the President, Sharif, that Sharmarke the former prime minster of the TFG gave them the OK, to mind their own business without consulting the federal government.
And just recently before the formation of the current TFG the Puntland Authority reached a point , where they have to dictate to select the cabinet members that would represent them in the TFG.
The Puntland Authorities rejected last TFG , when the prime minister was Mohamed Abdilahi/ Farmajo , simply because he wasn't affiliated tribally and for fear that he might reveal the piracy business of Puntland.
The irony is even though the Puntland Authority is seen as an important part of any TFG formed, and the Puntland leaders brag about bringing peace, law and order to the area that they control. Human trafficking and piracy became a flourishing business generating a huge revenue for Puntland , in the sea shores of Bosaso, main port city of Puntland, where thousands of poor Somalis and Ethiopians seeking better life are drown daily in the Golf of Aden, and hundred of merchant ship crew members are held hostage.
And because of the weak TFG ant its inability to hold accountable Puntland and other local government for piracy and human trafficking, regional governments became just a name to boost the existence of the TFG. Where a strong TFG could have denounced the authorities of regional governments involved in piracy and human trafficking like Puntland, unless they put their house in order.
Again because of its misleading and having representatives, like a President or a Prime minister in the TFG decision making, Puntland leaders also enjoy the company and the visit of important dignitaries from the UN, EU, USA and Africa.
It's unknown when the world will wake up and stop the suffering of poor Somalis and Ethiopian in the Golf of Aden and free the hostages from Puntland pirates, and hold the Puntland Authority accountable for the suffering of innocent people in the hands of Human traffickers and pirates.
Mohamud Aden Samatar
Phoenix, AZ USA