Puntland Leader Calls for Direct International Aid Amid Political Conflict

Amid increasing political conflict between Puntland and the federal government, Puntland regional state leader Said Abdullahi Deni has asked Somalia’s international partners to establish a new mechanism enabling multilateral development banks to directly provide humanitarian support, development aid, and budget support to Puntland.

In a letter to the international community on Sunday, President Deni accused the federal government of politicizing donor assistance and budgetary support intended for Puntland through multilateral development banks.

Observing a troubling trend of Mogadishu using donor aid for politically motivated agendas since his re-election, President Deni stated, “The politicization of Puntland State’s earmarked projects, programs, and budgetary support has been ongoing for the last 18 months. On several occasions, we have brought this to the attention of the multilateral development banks and the donor community,” the letter reads.

Highlighting that his regional government has made significant efforts to engage constructively with the multilateral development banks, donors, and Mogadishu to resolve all outstanding technical issues, Deni detailed the challenges faced.

Meeting with no success, these efforts have been frustrated. “Despite our commitment to dialogue and negotiations, Mogadishu has initiated a campaign of disinformation and misinformation, blaming Puntland for not being flexible and open to collaboration. However, the reality is that Mogadishu’s true goal appears to be the destabilization of the Puntland State,” the letter added.

Pointing out the potential risks to Somalia’s stability and unity, Deni emphasized that Mogadishu’s actions disregard the constitutional mandate and overlook the nation’s fragile state.

Calling for recognition of the gravity of the current situation, Deni appealed to Somalia’s bilateral and multilateral partners for support to ensure that Puntland receives the necessary donor assistance and grant budgetary support, free from Mogadishu’s politicization.

Requesting the establishment of an alternative mechanism, Deni urged, “We are requesting the establishment of an alternative mechanism enabling the multilateral development banks to aid and support Puntland directly. I call on our bilateral and multilateral partners to support efforts to build a more prosperous Puntland State and Somalia. I urge you to use the influence of your office to safeguard democracy, uphold the rule of law, and promote peace throughout Somalia,” he added.

Citing recent constitutional amendments as a breach of the federal pact that has historically united the country, the Puntland administration withdrew its recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia in March. These amendments, approved by the Somali Federal Parliament, sparked political turmoil and concerns over national unity.

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