OPEN COMMUNIQUE FROM THE TRADITIONAL ELDERS
MUDUG REGION, PUNTLAND STATE OF SOMALIA
To: U. N. Somalia Office – Nairobi, Kena
U. S. Embassy, Somalia – Nairobi, Kenya
Inter-peace, East & Central Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
Somali Federal Government, Mogadishu
All other International institutions with interest in Somalia
Puntland today is at a critical time that requires immediate intervention from all the governments and international institutions that have stake and interest in Somalia and in Puntland. In the last 10 days, the situation has gone from bad to worse in Puntland, with most of the towns and villages for the first time showing dissent to the dictatorial regime in Garowe and openly demonstrating to make their feelings known.
These peaceful demonstrations started last week in Qardho, with people chanting slogans against the current head of Puntland, “We don’t want Faroole in Power After 8 January 2012” for two days. These spread to other towns including Waciye, Rako, Bender Beila in Karkaar Region and jarriban in Mudug.
Today, a peaceful demonstration started in Galkaio, Mudug and, to Counter that, Mr faroole flooded the city with armed police units from his personal militia who forcibly and repressively dispersed the the demonstrators. These members of his personal Militia are currently patrolling the streets and have made the city of galkaio seem like a ghost town. A similar situation exists in Bosaso, Bari region, and with the two major cities in Puntland in that kind of state, things can easily get out of hand and turn into an open civil war, particularly knowing that all the different clans in Puntland are armed and will assert their right if they have no other choice..
At the heart of the open conflict that fast turning into violent clashes between armed militias loyal to him and the people of Puntland, as happened in Rako and Waciye and Qardho and today in Galkaio, are his current plans to unlawfully extend his mandate for one year and beyond, after January 2012, when a new head and new representatives were supposed to take over.
In line with the rest of Puntland, as the Tradional and Tribal Elders of Mudug region, we will never accede to Faroole remaining in Power beyond 8 January 2122. To better understand why we Puntlanders cannot wait to see the back of him, in the past 3 years and 9 months while he was the sitting president:
1- Law and order has broken down. He has intentionally run down the law enforcement agencies and institutions to the extent that nobody in Puntland has any confidence in the System. Just to provide a good example, 5 parliamentarians who dared mildly criticise Mr. Faroole has been shot in Garowe and not even one perpetrator was brought to justice.
2-Economic and political corruption has gone over the roof to the point where Mr. Faroole arrogantly doesn’t even attempt to hide. It’s common knowledge that his sons who don’t hold government office and are not accountable to anyone are the show and the sources of that is evil in the State. Since he came in Power, everybody in Puntland knows that Mr. Faroole has personally plundered the substantial amounts of revenues raised in Taxes as well as the annual royalties from the petroleum companies over the past 4 years (well over 20 million dollars).
3-Worst of all, he has broken the bond between the different clans in Puntland and where a common ownership existed in Puntland, today every and each clan is looking over its shoulder against its neighbouring clans. When one considers that each of these clans in Puntland is armed to the teeth, one could easily deduce the danger that poses. Just to illustrate this point, over the past 12 months, more than 120 Puntlanders died as a result of inter-clan fighting. Anyone could easily draw his/her own conclusions in the event that Puntland breaks down into mini-regions administered by armed clans that have issued with their neighbouring clans. It doesn’t take much to deduce that the reason that Puntland, the most peaceful, stable and economically thriving part of Somalia before his arrival is in this state today. He has been stoking the flames of inter-clan conflicts from the day he assumed office.
In conclusion, we, traditional leaders and clan chiefs of Mudug cannot and will not accept, in line with the rest of Puntland regions, Mr. Faroole’s extension of mandate beyond the date he is expected to leave office, whatever the implications. We need your urgent support in salvaging Puntland from ruin as the dictator in Power is blackmailing the people of Puntland with the choice of his remaining in office or there will be no more Puntland. We in Mudug will not give in to blackmail. We have to stress that it’s not in anybody’s interest for Puntland to end up as rubble. Help us to resolve this standoff between the people of Puntland, who largely agree that he should leave when his mandate comes to an end and Mr. Faroole who is determined to get his way.
Thank you all.
The Leaders and Elders of Mudug Region