October 11, 2023
A conference of the Puntland opposition and various sectors of society was held on October 10-11, 2023 in the Puntland capital of Garowe. The conference analyzed the difficult situations that Puntland is facing, including political issues, peace, economy, Constitution and Democracy, and Puntland election issues in 2024.
The conference participants expressed their deep concern over the following issues:
Political issues: The current government has neglected its duties and social services, and has entered political isolation at the national and international level. The relationship between Puntland and the Federal Government is based on personal interests, which has had a negative impact on development projects. The government system is unbalanced, with power concentrated in the hands of the president. Every difference of opinion is met with violence, resulting in loss of life and property.
Security issues: The government has failed to deal with the problems of extremist organizations, drug trafficking, and the influx of foreigners. The war that took place in Bosaso, Garowe, and Galkacyo was brought against the forces that were the backbone of Puntland.
Economic issues: There is widespread social destruction due to embezzlement of government income and international donations, money collected by extremist organizations, and failure of businessmen and financial protection agencies to fulfill their roles. The government has also failed to provide the constitutional rights of workers and the military.
Issues of the constitution and democracy: The constitution and other laws of Puntland have been violated in an irresponsible manner, and the judiciary, Parliament, and the government have become one and the same, with no independence. The members of the Constitutional Court Board have caused disappointment and lack of trust after they failed to hear and decide on the cases brought before them.
2024 Puntland election: The president is not taking responsibility for how to hold a fair, consensus-based, timely, and peaceful election.
In light of these concerns, the conference participants agreed on the following:
- The amendment made to the Constitution was not passed through the procedure indicated by the Constitution, therefore it cannot be implemented.
- The term of office of the Parliament and the Government is short, and the only election that can be held is the 66 MPs who were elected by the communities.
- The conference calls on the Traditional Leader of Puntland state to take their role and elect members of parliament as soon as possible.
- The conference praises the struggle and success of the SSC-Khatumo community, and suggests that the wishes of the SSC-Khatumo community be considered.
- The conference commends the fight against terrorism led by the Somali Federal Government.
Finally, the conference agreed to establish the Puntland Opposition Council, which will consist of the following organizations:
- Puntland Political Forum
- Safety Policy Council
- Supreme Council of Law
- Puntland Rescue Forum
- Youth Political Organization
- Mideeye Political Association
- Horseed Political Association
- Union of Puntland Candidates
The Puntland Opposition Council is committed to working together to address the urgent issues facing the region and to promote peace, democracy, and development.