Puntland Minister of Planning Mohamed Farole says the Somali government should not use the Puntland flag in its press releases. The dispute centres around a statement from the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) addressing a United Nations (UN) report on aid diversion in Somalia.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
In the press release, SODMA, representing the Government of Somalia, reaffirmed the strict prohibition of the sale or re-distribution of humanitarian aid, emphasizing that such actions constitute aid diversion. The statement, however, has raised controversy due to its implication that all Federal Member States (FMS), including Puntland, were its co-authors.
Minister Mohamed Farole wasted no time clarifying Puntland’s position. “We don’t have any political relationship nor aid/development cooperation with the current FGS [Federal Government of Somalia], so they should not be using the Puntland flag. Please DO NOT use our flag or resource maps. Don’t invite corruption & AS [al-Shabaab].”
The rift between Puntland and the central government has been brewing for several months, with Puntland distancing itself from the FGS. The Minister of Planning’s statement underscores the depth of this divide and raises questions about the unity of Somalia’s federal structure.
Puntland Minister: FGS is politicizing aid
This is not the first rift between Puntland and the FGS about aid distribution in Somalia. In early August, Puntland’s Finance Minister, Mohamed Abdirahman Dhabancad, blamed the central government for obstructing the distribution of international grants and projects, impeding the region’s overall progress.
Mr Dhabancad pointed out that the federal government’s actions are detrimental to the nation’s growth, as foreign aid meant for development is being wielded as a political tool. This particularly impacts Puntland, as it jeopardizes the quota assigned to the region to benefit its local populace.
The Puntland Minister emphasized the importance of direct benefits to the people through project contracts. Those would ensure that revenue and taxes from these initiatives channel back into Puntland. He underlined the advancements made by the financial system and the Central Bank of Puntland. Furthermore, the Minister highlighted their readiness to manage international aid and grants efficiently.
He urged direct disbursement from international banks to Puntland, citing obstacles when funds pass through Mogadishu. Puntland Minister accused the Somali government of mismanagement. He identified issues such as delayed fund releases or allocation to unidentified entities. The Minister stressed the need to address these challenges.
As tensions persist and divisions deepen, the future of Somalia’s political landscape remains uncertain. The dispute over flag usage symbolises the broader challenges facing the nation. Somalia has grappled with internal divisions and strives to address pressing humanitarian concerns.