Mediation between Somali Government and Puntland Continues
Puntland, the northeastern region of Somalia that declared itself autonomous – but not independent – in 1998, has suspended cooperation with the Somali government over disagreements as to the administration of Puntland. Specifically, Puntland has rejected the Somali proposal of a federal state made up of Galgadud and Mudug. Puntland recalled its officials from Mogadishu over the proposal, but has expressed hopes that discussions will continue.
Somalia, wracked by chaos and a weak central government, has several regions that have declared their autonomy from the federal government but which have not formally declared independence and indeed still consider themselves as part of the country. The result is that the federal government must negotiate every decision. Mediation over the proposed division and administration of the regions in question has been ongoing for several months, and both sides say they are committed to continuing discussions on the matter.
Puntland controls the northern area of Mudug and regards the southern half of the region to be “under other people's control.” They have asserted they intend to maintain their right to administer the northern Mudug region and will reject any proposals by the Somali government to restrict their control of the region, saying “We will never retreat from our rights to administer the north of Mudug region."
Puntland operates as full autonomous region, having recently signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to encourage and allow direct investment in the area. The region suffers from chaos as well, however, with armed groups and assassination attempts common.