Published: December 24, 2023
Said Abdullaahi Deni

The political climate in Puntland over the last five years was not stable and sometimes bloody. However, it will be unfair to say he did nothing over the last five years. The biggest failure of the president during his term has been loneliness in decision making even though he was surrounded by qualified professionals from different fields. 

Unfortunately, as a starting point President Deni sacked the head of the PSF (Puntland Security Force), an American funded security apparatus, with the most qualified men in Somalia, by using the Facebook rather than communicating and convincing the relevant person officially, according to official sources. This action has been interpreted by the public in different formats and none was favouring the president. As a matter of facts, the president could use this force as the most reliable forces that he can rely on in many aspects. Unfortunately, it did not happen.  

His opponents as well as his government officials argued that if you need to see the president it is very difficult to find him. On the opposite when he needs you, even if you are hiding in a cave, he can easily locate you and make his demands by using the most beautiful words – before he disappears again. According to many people that I have spoken, Deni is one of those people who only trust and consult with himself – period. 

However, to his credit, Deni implemented many developmental programs in Puntland including the extension of the Bosaso Port (still under construction) and laying out or repairing main roads in Puntland. Furthermore, the first election in Somalia after many years has been conducted in Puntland in six districts, and it is officially welcomed by Puntland people and the international community. 

Locally, when an important cargo destined to Gara’ad port was interfered, he skilfully convinced the relevant authority to let the Port receive its badly needed cargo from overseas. 

Lastly, but not the least, the president’s decision to terminate his working relationship with the Federal Government was not appropriate. He may have some issues with the president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, but most Puntland politicians believe the Puntland President should not severe the working relationship that Puntland has with the Federal government as the President’s presence and punching on the negotiating table was more effective than just exiting and allowing Hassan Sheikh to dominate the weak States who are partially dependent on Federal Government support/handouts.  

By: Omar Mohamud Farah (Dhollawaa)