New Puntland president vows to fight insecurity

2014-01-08 21:43
Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, has been elected president of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, an area of Somalia struggling to shed its image as a pirate haven. (Peter Macdiarmid, AFP)

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, has been elected president of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, an area of Somalia struggling to shed its image as a pirate haven. (Peter Macdiarmid, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Garowe - Parliament narrowly elected former prime minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali as president of Puntland on Wednesday, backing his campaign against corruption and insecurity in the relatively peaceful Somali region.

At the tip of the Horn of Africa and with a third of Somalia's population of about 10 million, the semi-autonomous Puntland spans the north of Somalia and has largely escaped the worst of the country's upheaval of the last 20 years.

Somalia's central government and foreign powers advocating a loose federal political system in Somalia have held Puntland up as a possible model, having avoided the worst of a seven-year insurgency fought by militants seeking to impose a strict interpretation of sharia'h law.

But acts of violence have risen, the latest of which killed seven people in a car bomb attack on an armed convoy escorting foreigners working for a company training local security forces, on 5 December in Bosasso, a coastal city.

The authorities and Western diplomats are concerned al-Shabaab may seek to strengthen ties with al-Qaeda cells in Yemen, over the narrow Gulf of Aden.

Saciid Hassan Shire, the speaker for Puntland's parliament, declared Ali, an economist, the president-elect with 33 votes against outgoing leader Abdirahman Sheikh Mohamed Farole who got 32 votes in a run-off during the third round of voting by deputies.

"I promise progress and peace for Puntland in the coming five years, let's all work together in improving the security and development," Ali, a former prime minister for Somalia, said after his victory.

During the campaign, Ali accused his main rival of corruption and failing to curb insecurity. Farole has denied the allegations.

Farole told Reuters last year the number of al-Shabaab militants in the region had risen after African troops drove them out of their southern strongholds.

Oil contracts

Michele Cervone d'Urso, the EU special envoy to Somalia who attended the vote, said it had set a benchmark for peaceful elections for the rest of Somalia.

"The election is a positive for the democratisation process. Now the president-elect can focus on defusing tensions between the different group of supporters," he told Reuters.

The region, roughly one-third of Somalia's geographical area, is believed to be rich in undeveloped energy resources and is being sized up by oil explorers.

Ali is yet to make his views on the oil exploration in the region public. Farole had said he would not allow Mogadishu to award oil contracts to foreign firms.

"It is hoped that he will fight al-Shabaab in an effort to tighten security," Hussein Abdirahman, a history lecturer at Mogadishu University's branch in Bosasso told Reuters.

"Being an economist, people hope he will also improve economy and political ties with the federal government."

Read more on:    somalia  |  puntland  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.