Garowe, Puntland, Somalia –
Yesterday, an important meeting was held by Puntland’s Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation. It aimed to address the security concerns in Garowe, the capital of Puntland. The conference discussed various security aspects, the most visible one perhaps being the ban on weapon carrying in the capital.
Prominent attendees at the meeting included Hon. Abdi Farah Said (Juha), the Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation of Puntland, Hon. Ismail Saleban Gelle, the Deputy Minister of Internal Security of Puntland, Brigadier General Mumin Abdi Shire, the Commander of Puntland Police Force, and other government officials and security officers.
The conference focused primarily on the security of the capital – Garowe, although it also addressed other cities and the state as a whole.
The participants agreed on the following key points, which have been ordered to adhere to:
- Prohibition of illegal weapon carrying: Starting yesterday and effective immediately, carrying weapons unlawfully within the cities of Puntland, particularly in the capital, is strictly prohibited. Authorities responsible for security, including law enforcement and other forces, have been directed to remain stationed in designated camps to distinguish between active soldiers and potential troublemakers.
- Ban on vehicles without license plates: Starting yesterday and effective immediately, vehicles lacking proper license plates will face a ban. Any individual caught driving a car without license plates within the city will be apprehended and brought to justice.
- Discouraging baseless incitement of displacement: Individuals engaging in spreading unsubstantiated information that incites panic, evacuations, or displacement of people must refrain from such actions. Perpetrators found guilty will be subject to legal consequences.
- Strengthening the fight against terrorism and drugs: A continued effort is emphasized to bolster and expedite the fight against terrorism and drug-related activities.
- Enhanced cooperation and collaboration: Security agencies, regional and district governors in Puntland are urged to strengthen cooperation and collaboration to reinforce internal and border security within the region.
Aftermath of a failed insurrection
The measures were established to ensure public safety and maintain peace and stability in Garowe and other cities in Puntland. They are a result of a recent failed insurrection by the militias of Aran Jaan, led by dismissed Danab Commander Jimale Jama Takar.
The Danab Brigade is a highly trained commando force of the Somali National Army (SNA), able to conduct swift and strategic operations. In the past, it successfully reclaimed territories under the control of al-Shabaab, a Somali insurgent group associated with al-Qaeda.
Puntland’s security forces recently clashed with the Aran Jaan, successfully defending the local parliament and pushing the militia outside the city. The militia’s retreat extended as far as Salahley, a location approximately 17 kilometres south of the capital.
The attempt to destabilize Puntland was ultimately thwarted, but not without raising serious allegations. Some of those are that the planning for this unrest was not initiated in Puntland but rather in Mogadishu, with financial backing provided to the Aran Jaan by the Federal Government of Somalia.