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Divided we fall: Why Puntland's actions threaten Somali unity

Thursday April 18, 2024
By Hussein Ali

FILE - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (L), seated with Puntland's regional leade Said Abdullahi Deni

Somalia has faced decades of hardship. Fragmentation and internal conflicts have hampered progress and stability. In this context, Puntland's recent actions regarding the Ethiopian consulate risk further fracturing Somali unity, a goal all Somalis should strive for, even if some leaders, like Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, have a history of making promises they don't keep.

A united Somalia brings with it a multitude of benefits. A strong central government can effectively tackle national security threats like piracy and terrorism. It can also ensure a more equitable distribution of resources and implement national development plans that uplift all regions. Moreover, a united Somalia carries more weight on the international stage, attracting investment and fostering stronger diplomatic relations.

Somalia's federal system is built on the foundation of respecting regional autonomy. Puntland, with its unique development goals, rightfully deserves a say in its future. However, the true strength of Somalia lies in its unity. Recent tensions, seemingly fueled by personal disagreements, pose a significant threat to this unity. Whether it's the disagreements between Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Said Abdullahi Deni or any other leaders, the importance of Somali unity should never be undermined.

Puntland holds a special place in Somali history. As the "mother of Somali federalism," it plays a crucial role in the nation's structure. Collaboration between Puntland and the federal government is essential for a healthy federal system.

There's a concern that the current dispute between Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Said Abdullahi Dani stems from personal differences, not the needs of the Somali people. While both Deni And Hassan were good friends in Farmaajo's term and strong allies on election day, Dani lobbed Farmajo to leave office and Hassan to be elected; recent actions suggest personal agendas are now hindering progress. Somalia's future cannot be held hostage to these personal squabbles.

Both President Mohamud and President Dani must prioritize national unity. Open communication is essential for finding solutions that benefit all Somalis. Focusing on the people's needs, rather than personal rivalries, is crucial for Somalia's future.


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