Elders call for sanctions against Puntland and Somaliland leaders - Daily Nation

Elders call for sanctions against Puntland and Somaliland leaders

Tuesday July 26 2016

Somalis in the diaspora and Sanaag community elders in the UK regretted that both self-declared Somaliland and Puntland have neglected the economic and social development of the region and classified it as unsafe for NGOs to undertake aid projects. PHOTO | GOOGLE MAPS

Somalis in the diaspora and Sanaag community elders in the UK regretted that both self-declared Somaliland and Puntland have neglected the economic and social development of the region and classified it as unsafe for NGOs to undertake aid projects. PHOTO | GOOGLE MAPS 

By LUCAS BARASA
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The international community has been urged to intervene and help ensure peace in Sanaag region of Somalia.

Somalis in the diaspora and Sanaag community elders in the UK regretted that both self-declared Somaliland and Puntland have neglected the economic and social development of the region and classified it as unsafe for NGOs to undertake aid projects.

In a statement, the group led by former Somalia Cabinet Minister Awad Ashareh said health, education, water and sanitation facilities were not rehabilitated nor were the local staff trained.

"The international community, including UNSOM, consider Sanaag region as a disputed region and refrained from undertaking any development," the statement made available to the Nation said.

He added: "The international community and the UN have abandoned the local population."

Mr Ashareh said the UK Ambassador to Somalia, US Special Representative for Somalia and EU Special Envoy to Somalia two years ago for withdrawal of forces by Somaliland and Puntland from disputed area had not been adhered to.

The envoys called for resolving of differences through peaceful dialogue and vouched for "genuine" desire to create necessary conditions for long term and durable stability in the region.

They urged both parties to collaborate with local communities and to address the economic, developmental and humanitarian grievances of the populations of Sool and Sanaag regions.

SAAHDHEER CLASHES

The call was reiterated in August 2014 when the US Special Representative for Somalia, UN Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia and the EU ambassador to Somalia issued a similar statement during the clashes at Saahdheer.

The collapse of the Somali Republic coupled with the disputes over the territorial administration and sovereignty of both Sool and Sanaag regions has led to negligence of its population in humanitarian, economic and social developmental needs.

The population of Sanaag region lives in fear with the rising tensions between Somaliland and Puntland supported by the international community and which do not have access to or benefit from its aid.

The Somalis in diaspora and Sanaag elders said it’s upon the international community to penalize institutions and individuals within the self-declared Somaliland "responsible for the discriminatory and aggressive actions and behaviour towards the population of Sanaag."

"The grievance of the population of Sanaag can no longer be ignored nor to the authorities in Puntland and self-declared Somaliland," the statement said.

It added: "To alleviate this continued oppression of the population of Sanaag and to ensure an environment of peace, stability, good governance, strong economic and social development, we call upon the international community to press the authorities in so-called Somaliland and Puntland to respect the wishes of the population of Sanaag to be part of a united and federal Somalia."

The group asked Somaliland and Puntland authorities to withdraw their forces from Sanaag and "not disrupt the peace again under any pretext including undertaking any registration or elections in the districts of Dhahar, Badhan, Las Qoray and the eastern parts of Ceergabo district."

They also called for respect of the wishes of the Sanaag population and their right to assemble and express their wishes freely without any direct or indirect force.

IMPOSE PENALTIES

The protagonists should be warned that any action that may disrupt the peace or destabilise Sanaag region will lead to the imposition of penalties by the international community, the statement added.

They also want an independent monitoring of the discriminatory distribution of international community aid to the Sanaag region.

The Somalis in diaspora and Sanaag elders also want establishment of Sanaag based institutions in co-operation with local communities, enabling the international community to provide direct economic developmental and humanitarian assistance to locals.

The collapse of the Somali Republic in 1991 resulted in the declaration of Puntland State and self-declared Somaliland administrations laying claim to the Sanaag and Sool regions.

The self-declared Somaliland claim is based on the declaration of independence from Somalia by the Central Committee of the Somali National Movement (the military and political organization of the Isaaq clan) in May 1991.

It purported to nullify the unification of British Somaliland and the UN Trusteeship of Somalia into a single Somali Republic in 1960.

Puntland claim is based on the agreement reached by the Harti clan that includes Warsangeli and Dhulbahante clans on October 1998.

The agreement led to the creation of Puntland regional state as part of a federal Somalia.

The Sanaag and Sool regions have witnessed armed clashes between Puntland and Somaliland.

Somaliland captured Las Anod, capital of Sool region in October 2007. Khatumo and self-declared Somaliland clashed at Kalshale, Maygagle and Buhoodle in 2012.

The tension between Puntland and self-declared Somaliland was heightened after an unannounced appearance by the President of Somaliland in Las Qoray town in Sanaag in 2014.

DEPLOYED FORCES

Khatumo and Somaliland clashed in the town of Taleh, Sool region, in June 2014 leading to the deployment of forces by Puntland.

At the inauguration of Ali Khalif as president of Khatumo State (August 2014), Somaliland attacked the village of Saahdheer in Sool that led to the deployment of forces by Puntland.

The current tension in Sanaag is as a result of deployment of Somaliland forces to register locals for forthcoming elections and to extend its control and administration.

The clan that inhabits three of the five districts of Sanaag region and the eastern parts of Ceerigabo district is opposed to the secession from Somalia and re-affirmed its position that they are part and parcel of a united Somalia as declared in the Warsangeli Conference, Guuleed 2nd held at Hingalool on August 2014.

This led to the clashes between local population and the forces of self-declared Somaliland on July 18, 2016 near Dhahar town.

As a result, Puntland came under pressure to respond and deployed its forces to repel the intruders.

There were several demonstrations in a number of towns including Ceergabo, Dhahar, Armale and Hingalol against the deployment of forces by Somaliland.

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