Aran Jaan leader Mohamud Shido comes out against democratization in Puntland. During a consultative meeting of Puntland opposition groups in Garowe, the founder of this controversial group, known for exploiting tenders and other projects for personal gain, made remarks that further fueled the people’s discontent with the group.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA.
The Aran Jaan leader stated that no one can support the ongoing democratization process in Puntland, emphasizing that the current election process fails to provide a platform for participation, neither for international organizations nor local ones. He boldly declared that the time for democracy in Puntland was over.
“In the current electoral system, no one is given a platform. Neither international organizations nor local organizations. I proclaim that the time for democracy [in Puntland] is over. Going forward, anyone working on this will be someone who is destroying Puntland, someone who is undermining its stability, someone who supports dictatorship,” stated Mohamud Shido.
Aran Jaan leader and his group involved itself in various incidents that some consider treasonous. During local elections, they attempted to incite a civil war in Puntland by attacking vehicles transporting ballot boxes and burning ballot papers. The Puntland government, having prior knowledge of their intentions, chose not to hold elections in several districts to prevent clashes.
Failed attempt to incite civil unrest
Furthermore, the Aaran Jaan group launched an attack on the Puntland Parliament after its failed attempt to incite civil unrest. However, the government forces defended the Members of Parliament and the city of Garowe against the Aran Jaan militia, which was led by Col. Jimale. The militia eventually withdrew from Garowe, and clan elders mediated after their second failed attempt.
The people of Puntland desire elections that allow them to elect the party of their choice. Mohamud Shido’s proposal to revert to the 66-member Parliament is unacceptable. Clan elders, who can receive bribes for their votes, should no longer be selecting MPs. After implementing one-person, one-vote elections for local elections, there can be no return to a system where MPs are “selected”, not elected. Such a step would lack public legitimacy.