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Somalia: Puntland state dissociates itself from Mogadishu

Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud participates in a Peace, Security and Governance Forum during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2022.   -  
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The powerful government of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland announced in a statement on Monday, January 9, that it is "now acting as an independent government

It says it is waiting for a federal constitution for Somalia to be completed. The announcement comes amid tensions between Somalia's federal president elected last May, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, and Puntland's president, Said Abdullahi Deni, who was defeated in the last presidential election.

From the outset, the Puntland government's communiqué emphasized its commitment to Somalia. Signing its three-page justification as the "Puntland Government of Somalia," it recalls its "efforts over the past 18 years" to "lay the foundation for building the federal system" and its "financial and military" support for successive governments in Mogadishu.

Tensions have been growing in recent months between Mogadishu and Puntland over the distribution of political, judicial and security powers, the use of the ports of Bossaso and Berbera and natural resources, and the right to enter into foreign partnerships, especially for oil development.

Recent meetings between the two heads of state, according to their entourage, did not go well. 

Since last summer, the president of the government in Mogadishu has been making more and more decisions in the name of a Somali federation that has yet to be built, which the authorities in Garowe have perceived as a dirigiste temptation on the part of the federal authorities.

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