Somalia: Puntland’s uneasy relationship with the TFG

Published: May 2, 2010

Editorial :

In April 2010 the Puntland State of Somalia’s Interior Minster, Abdullahi Ahmed Jama signed in Nairobi, Kenya, an agreement with Abdullahi Boss, Transitional Federal Government of Somalia’s Minister for Defence. Garowe Online, the mouthpiece of Puntland administration, described the event as “an agreement [aimed at harmosnising] … an accord” signed in Galkacayo by the TFG Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarake and Puntland president Abdirahman Farole. The top-up agreement is expected to lead to the implementation of, among other things, a key element of Galkacayo Accord: setting an anti-piracy centre in Puntland.
Where does this leave the TFG policies Puntland opposes such the plan to print Somali shillings? In a press release issued on 19 January, Puntland administration expressed “its disapproval to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia’s unilateral plan to issue new currency in an agreement with private contractors in Sudan.”
Apparently, the Puntland delegation did not raise substantive issues with the TFG delegation before or after signing the Nairobi agreement. Does that mean President Abdirahman Farole has done away with the habit of publishing fiery press releases whenever his administration perceives real or imagined political challenges from the Mogadishu based transitional government?
One of the policy differences between the TFG and Puntland is about the agreement Puntland signed with oil-prospecting companies. The TFG opposes agreements administrations such as Puntland sign with foreign oil companies. Article 67 of the Transitional Charter on Natural Resources and Environment Protection states: “The natural resources of the country such as the minerals, water, flora and fauna shall be public property and a law shall be enacted which defines the manner of exploitation for the common good.” The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia has not enacted an oil law so far.
In March this year, Abdiwahid Elmi Omar, Minister of Energy and Petroleum for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia told journalists in Mogadishu that no region in Somali could sign agreement with foreign companies. “We are very sorry that a TFG Deputy Prime Minister, who does control neither his constituency nor his government’s headquarters.” Puntland administration spokesman said in a press release. Puntland had better avoid getting mired in contradictory policies and agreements.
©2010 Horseed Media.

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