Monday, July 23, 2018
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Puntland Needs to be Saved: Public Discussions Assert That

BSaid M-Shidad H. Hussein

The people of the state of Punt have long clandestinely been complaining about the performance of the government of the state. Two incidents that occurred during the last 30 days, however, have prompted public discussions, formal and informal, on the multiple grievances of the people. The two incidents are the recurring stories about the character of the state’s House of Representatives, and the decision of the state’s disagreement of the position of the national government toward the Gulf crisis. Let us take excerpts from the discussions on the two issues.

The government performance and character

It is emphasized that, for the last 19 years the leaders have confiscated the rights of the people to vote and express, and the mechanism of check and balance. Likewise, they did not meet the expectations and aspirations of the citizens. And even some of them have sheepishly attempted to mislead the people by claiming false achievements and covering the corruption until the state is driven to a worst situation. It is also noted that, the citizens failed to demand their rights adequately. But it is also mentioned that, the only political asset of state is the patience of the people which is to be sustained.

Specifically, it is deeply criticized the repetitive way of selecting members of the House and electing the president. Thus, it is underlined that, the foundations of ending the way must be laid down for the coming 14 months through a genuine consultation.

The issue of the government’s decision on the Gulf crisis

It is widely seen as something motivated locally by special interest and externally anti-Somalia colonization approach. It is reducing the state of Punt to something that can be used by foreign against its own interest and national cohesion and sovereignty of Somalia. It is stated. Not only that, but the decision triggers many new and old questions as following:

  • The fundamental principle of the state of Punt was to struggle, at its best, a reformation of strong Somalia, why a need to depart from that principle at this time when there is the brightest hope for the nation?
  • Can anyone of the two governments afford to ignore the other one as far as national interest is concerned?
  • Was there a relationship between the state and Saudi Arabia before the decision?
  • Is the commercial relationship between the state and United Arab of Emirates (UAE), different from that between other Somalis and UAE?
  • Is the decision falling on the legal boundary of Puntland by the federal constitution?
  • Why Puntland’s security force supported by UAE ignores the biggest problem of Puntland: the marine resource plundering an dumping waste into the sea by foreigners as it stated by UNDP and various research institutions?
  • Why Somalia has no right to stay outside of meaningless differences among other states?
  • If we have survived from a tragic chapter of our history without help of these states, why we can’t survive in the future without them?
  • Why was the contract of expanding the Boosaaso port with UAE Company signed in a dark room? Who is going to check the extent of its usefulness for Puntland and Somalia?
  • What is the position of the national government toward the agreement?
  • If the government of Puntland tends to be more loyal to foreign governments than the national state of Somalia, how will that affect the requirements of the developmental programs in the state?

These are the questions coming out from the discussion. Who is supposed to give their answers, local government or national government?

What about the national government?

In some discussions, it is recalled that, governments in Muqdisho, e.i. Sh. Shariif and Xasan Sheekh’s ones, particularly the latter, practiced a policy of undermining Puntlands developmental efforts and political contributions. Although some people say mishandling something in Muqdisho can still be possible, it has widely been expected that such problem is over with the new government in Muqdisho. And even the people here were waiting for president Farmajo and premier Khayre, on after another, to discuss with them a better future for Somalia. So it is said that: both governments owe us a clear explanation as to who really get blamed. It is also pointed out that, the federal parliament is also responsible any misgoverning behavior of both governments because the parliament has continuously failed to represent the people.

Finally, it is asserted that, both the state of Punt and government of Somalia need to be saved from theirs own mistakes and from unacceptable foreign interventions.

Said M-Shidad H. Hussein

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