Puntland: Wikis


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Puntland State of Somalia
أرض البنط
Flag Coat of arms
Capital Garowe
8°24′N 48°29′E / 8.4°N 48.483°E / 8.4; 48.483
Largest city Bosaso (commercial capital)
Official language(s) Somali and Arabic
 -  President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole
 -  Vice-President Abdisamad Ali Shire
Autonomy In Somalia 
 -  Proclaimed 1998 
 -  Recognition unrecognized 
 -  Total 212,510 km2 
82,051 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) Negl.
 -  2009 estimate 3,900,000[1] 
 -  Density 18/km2 
46.6/sq mi
Currency Somali shilling (SOS)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .so
Calling code 252 (Somalia)
Rankings may not be available because of its unrecognized de facto state.

Puntland (Somali: Puntlaand, Arabic: أرض البنط‎) is a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe (Nugaal region), whose leaders declared it an autonomous state in 1998. A third of Somalia's population lives in the province,[2][3] which likewise represents about a third of the nation's geographical area.[4] Unlike neighbouring Somaliland, Puntland does not seek outright independence from Somalia.[5] The name "Puntland" is derived from the Land of Punt mentioned by ancient Egyptian sources. The exact location of the Land of Punt is still a mystery and is the subject of academic debate and controversy. Some studies suggest that the land of Punt was located in Somalia,[6][7] whereas others propose that it was located elsewhere.[8]



The Puntland State of Somalia was established in August 1998 after a decision made by local political and traditional leaders following several failed national reconciliation efforts in the wake of the Somali Civil War. Originally, the administration derived its legitimacy from a series of locally sponsored conferences in which the traditional council of elders (Isimada) played a key role.[1]

As stipulated in Article 1 of the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, Puntland is a part of the Federal State of Somalia. As such, the region seeks the unity of the Somali people and adheres to a federal system of government.[1] Unlike the secessionist region of Somaliland to its west, Puntland is not trying to obtain international recognition as a separate nation.[5] However, both regions have one thing in common: they base their support upon clan elders and their way of organization along lines based on clan relationships and kinship.[5][9] Since 1998, Puntland has also been in territorial disputes with Somaliland over the Sool and Sanaag regions.

The legal structure of Puntland consists of the Judiciary, Legislative (House of Representatives) and the Executive (the President and his nominated council of Ministries) branches of government.[1] Though relatively peaceful, the region briefly experienced political unrest in 2001 when then President of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, one of the founding fathers of the Puntland State and its first president, wanted his term extended. Ahmed and Jama Ali Jama fought for control of the region, with Ahmed emerging victorious the following year. Ahmed served his second term as president until October 2004, when he was elected President of Somalia. He was succeeded in office by Mohamed Abdi Hashi, who served until January 2005 when he lost a re-election bid in parliament to General Mohamud Muse Hersi "Adde".



Muse administration

In March 2005, then incumbent President Muse began an ambitious plan to build an airport in Puntland's commercial capital of Bosaso, a project which is now complete and referred to as Bender Qassim International Airport.[10][11]

On April 2007, Muse held meetings with Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, where the two leaders signed an agreement on a deal for setting up of a dedicated livestock quarantine facility to facilitate the import of livestock from Somalia to the UAE.[12] On October 2008, Muse also signed a Dh170 million agreement with Dubai's Lootah Group to support the construction of an airport, seaport and free zone in the coastal city of Bosaso. Muse indicated that "I believe that when we finish all these projects our people will benefit by getting good health services, education and overall prosperity."[13]

Farole administration

President of Puntland, Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole).

The newly elected President of Puntland is Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, a former PhD candidate in the history department at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Farole was a cabinet member in Puntland's government until a falling out with then president Muse over a deal with the Australian oil company, Range Resources,[14] which led to his departure as Planning Minister in 2006.[15][16] Farole expressed doubts with regard to the agreement's legality, as Muse had reportedly awarded the contract without consulting the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the nation's capital, and engaged in a process that Farole described as far from transparent.[16] Shortly following, gunmen from a militia loyal to Farole entered the parliament building, and two militiamen and a civilian were reportedly killed nearby. According to the BBC, the "overnight siege and the clashes may be linked to Monday's deadline for MPs to approve or reject a new cabinet."[15][17] Farole left the country soon afterwards to pursue post-graduate studies in Australia.[14][18] After having reportedly turned down requests from his fellow countrymen to run for office in the past, and with the assurance of support from various political factions,[19] Farole returned to Somalia in 2008 to present himself as a candidate in the Puntland region's 2008-2009 presidential elections.[14] In January 2009, he won 49 of the 66 votes cast by parliament members, defeating the nine other candidates including incumbent President Muse, to become the fourth President of Puntland.[14][16] Despite weeks of political tension prior to the vote, the election itself was also reportedly peaceful, prompting one U.S.-based observer to suggest that the "success of the Puntland elections can begin to provide a model for the whole of Somalia."[16] In an effort to improve transparency, the new president also issued a first-ever "100 Days in Office report".[20] The regional parliament in Puntland unanimously passed the 2009 budget after six days of negotiations. In addition, Farole has since revisited Puntland's oil deal with Range Resources, delivering a policy update in which he stated, among other things, that while he acknowledges the contracts that had already been signed under a great deal of controversy, it is important to "make sure that they are benefiting the people and are within the laws of Puntland." Range Resources, for its part, responded by indicating that it "looks forward to establishing a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with the new Puntland government and its president".[15]

Maakhir factor

Overview of a residential area in Badhan, Maakhir, Somalia

In July 2007, Maakhir was declared a regional state to represent the political will of members of the Warsangali branch of the Somali Darod clan from both the northern and southern portions of federal Somalia. Maakhir is the traditional territory of the Warsangali, a member (along with the Dhulbahante and Majeerteen) of the Harti confederation of Darod clans whom in 1998 created the macro region of Puntland in a grand meeting in Garowe.

The Maakhirians were one of the principal actors in Puntland politics. However, some of the clan's members felt that they had been increasingly marginalized, as the Majeerteen clan assumed an increasingly hegemonic role in the state.

In August, 2008, General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama ‘Ilkajir’ arrived back in Maakhir with the promise of running and winning the Puntland presidential election[21] and consequently improve the role of Maakhirians in Puntland politics. He received a huge welcome throughout Maakhir's cities,[22] and is credited with having brought Maakhir back into the Puntland fold.

Following the dissolution of the Maakhir administration, General Ilkajir subsequently became the de-facto leader of Maakhir. He then assigned himself the duty of building up the sub-region's security structure, and to extend the local authorities' capacity to defend, serve and protect the region's inhabitants from external disruptions like piracy, charcoal profiteering and separatist adventures.

After the election in Puntland in which General Abdullahi Ilkajir ran and lost,[23] he has joined the Puntland cabinet as the Interior Minister.[24] In his new position, General Ilkajir is responsible for the establishment of local district governors across Puntland of which Maakhir territory is a part.

New flag

On December 22, 2009, Puntland's parliament introduced a new state flag. The flag resembles that of the former Maakhir State of Somalia.

Puntland's new regional flag consists of three colors: white, blue and green.

Top: the blue stripe with the white star in the center symbolizes the Flag of Somalia
Center: the white stripe in the center represents peace and stability in the region
Bottom: the green stripe symbolizes the natural wealth of the Puntland State of Somalia


As stipulated in Article 3 of the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, Puntland consists of the following regions:[1]

Puntland Regions Capitals Districts
Puntland map regions.png
Ayn Buuhoodle 3
Bari Bosaso 7
Karkaar Qardho 5
Haylaan Dhahar 3
Mudug Galkacyo 4
Nugaal Garowe 5
Sanaag Ceerigaabo 5
Sool Las Anod 5

The regions of Sool and Sanaag are said to be under dispute, as these territories were claimed by the secessionist northwestern Somaliland macro region of Somalia. Beginning in 2003, Puntland troops entered and occupied the eastern parts of the Sool region. Fighting between the two forces led to casualties and captured prisoners, who were later exchanged.

Both the Sool and Sanaag regions have declared themselves autonomous parts of Somalia as Northland State (2008)[25] and Maakhir State (2007), respectively, but Maakhir has rejoined Puntland after the arrival of General Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Ilkajir in 2008.[26]


A camel peering over the leafier portions of the Cal Madow mountain range in Puntland.

Puntland is geographically situated in the northeastern portion of Somalia. It is bordered by the Somaliland region of Somalia to its west, the Gulf of Aden in the north, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, the central Galmudug region of Somalia in the south, and Ethiopia in the southwest. Puntland occupies a total land area of 212,510 km2 or roughly one-third of Somalia's geographical area.[1]

The region is semi-arid, with a warm climate and average daily temperatures ranging from 27 °C (81 °F) to 37 °C (99 °F). These climatic conditions favor pastoralism as the most effective use of land in most parts of the region. The most valuable grazing land includes the Hawd region in the high plateau to the west of the Mudug and Sool regions of Somalia, and into Ethiopia and the low Nugaal valley. Mild temperatures, by contrast, are experienced only along the high mountain ranges of Bari. In all other areas, Puntland is generally characterized by tropical desert heat.[1]

Rainfall is sparse and variable, with no one area receiving more than 400mm of rain annually. Nomads primarily rely on wells as a source of water rather than surface water. There are four main seasons around which pastoral and agricultural life revolve, and these are dictated by shifts in the wind patterns. Puntland's seasons are:[1]

  • Jilal – from January to March; the harshest dry season of the year.
  • Gu – from April to June; the main rainy season.
  • Xagaa – from July to September; the second dry season.
  • Deyr – from October to December; the shortest and less reliable rainy season.


Structural overview of the educational system in Puntland, Somalia.

Following the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia, numerous problems arose with regard to access to education in rural areas and along gender lines, quality of educational provisions, responsiveness of school curricula, educational standards and controls, management and planning capacity, and financing. To address these concerns, the Puntland government is in the process of developing an educational policy to guide the region's scholastic process as it embarks on the path of reconstruction and economic development. The latter includes a gender sensitive national education policy compliant with world standards, such as those outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).[27] Examples of this and other educational measures at work are the government's enactment of legislation aimed at securing the educational interests of girls,[28] promoting the growth of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) program designed to reach parents and care-givers in their homes as well as in the ECD centers for 0-5 year old children,[29] and introducing incentive packages to encourage teachers to work in remote rural areas.[30]

Within the Puntland government, the Ministry of Education is responsible for developing and managing the region's educational needs.[31] It is headed by the Minister Mohamud Bile Dubbe, under whom a Vice Minister and Director General help oversee a Post-Primary Education Division (PPED) and a Basic Education Directorate (BED), among other boards.[32]

The educational system of Puntland comprises two years of Early Childhood Development (ECD), eight years of primary education (four years of lower primary and four years of upper primary) and four years of secondary education. Tertiary education comprises an average of four years,[33] with the region currently counting for major universities: East Africa University in Bosaso, Puntland State University in Garowe, Puntland State University in Galkacyo, and Nugal University in Las Anod.[34] Thus, it is a 2-4-4-4 system. Puntland's Ministry of Education also recognizes non-formal education (NFE) and technical/vocational education and training (TVET) as integral parts of the region's educational system.[33]

From 2005/2006 to 2006/2007, there was a significant increase in the number of schools in Puntland, up 137 institutions from just one year prior. During the same period, the number of classes in the region increased by 504, with 762 more teachers also offering their services. Total student enrollment increased by 27% over the previous year, with girls lagging only slightly behind boys in attendance in most regions. The highest class enrollment was observed in the northernmost Bari region, and the lowest was observed in the under-populated Ayn region. The distribution of classrooms was almost evenly split between urban and rural areas, with marginally more pupils attending and instructors teaching classes in urban areas.[35]

Demographics and religion

As of 2006, the population of Puntland is estimated at 3.9 million inhabitants, 52% of whom are nomads.[1]

The region's population growth rate is quite high due to in part to an influx of people from southern Somalia and from neighboring countries. Currently, 30% of Puntland's residents live in the fast growing towns of Bosaso, Gardo, Garowe and Galkacyo. Approximately 70% of the population is also below the age of 30.[1]

The population density in Puntland is estimated at about 18 persons per km2.[1]

As with the rest of Somalia, Islam is the main religion of the Puntland region. With few exceptions, all residents of Puntland are Muslims.[1]


Bosaso is the fastest growing city in Puntland, having quadrupled in size in recent years.
Tuna processing factory in Laasqoray.

Puntland has 1600 km of coastline, which is abundant with fish and other natural marine resources. However, after the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, the coast was left unguarded against foreign intruders. As a result, many ships equipped with heavy trawls and other unlawful fishing equipment have occupied in Puntland's territorial waters. These ships violate catch regulations, including some which keep their catch alive and stock them in waters where fishing has been depleted. Puntland's coastal authorities continue to receive complaints from local fishermen about the damage being done by these outsiders.

Puntland exports great quantities of seafood such as lobsters, dried fish, and tuna. Sea salt is also produced.

Other economic products and activities of Puntland include livestock, frankincense, gum arabic, manufacturing and agriculture.[36]

In Laasqoray district, there is a medium size fish processing plant that produces and processes great quantities of tuna fish. The fish factory's products are of commercial quality, and its tuna is consumed throughout Puntland and also outside the region. Another fish processing plant is also being constructed in Habo, which locals hope will reduce poverty and unemployment and improve the area's economy.

Oil exploration

Oil blocks in Puntland and surrounding areas.

Puntland signed a deal with Consort Private Ltd for exclusive oil exploration rights in the territory, interpreted in the original agreement as including the Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Sool, Sanaag and Ayn regions. Consort then sold a controlling share (50.1%) to Range Resources of Perth, Western Australia to carry out the actual exploration.[37]

Canmex Minerals (later Africa Oil) of Canada signed an agreement with Range Resources for Canmex to open oil production on 80% of any oil discovered. In return, Canmex will foot the bill for exploration, amounting to up to $70 million, plus a $5 million signing bonus for Range. On August 23, 2006, Canmex changed its name to Africa Oil Corp.[38] The company continues to be based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[39]

In July 2006, Range Resources made a presentation to both the Puntland government, which was then headed by Mohamud Muse Hersi, and the Transitional Federal Government led by former President of Somalia Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, on its activities in relation to the development of Puntland and the proposed strategy with respect to the ground Range retained as had previously been announced. Range also met with local clan leaders and government officials and presented a cheque for $250,000 USD to the government as a contribution to the upgrade of the Garowe Airport. The upgrade was intended to assist both Range and Puntland by way of allowing a much greater variety of aircraft to land when compared to the then existing arrangements of a dirt airstrip 40 km out of town.[40]


Piracy continues to threaten shipping off the Puntland coast, with pirate crews operating out of Puntland ports.[41] In a December 2008 report, the United Nations estimated that Somali pirates, mostly based in Puntland, had collected at least $120 million in the past year and still held at least 17 foreign ships.[42] The report also accused the Puntland government of being complicit in piracy.[42]

During the 2008 election year, Puntland saw a spike in piracy. Then incumbent President Mohamud Muse Hersi was quoted on Al Jazeera as saying that "giving in to the pirates' demands was not an option. We do not advocate for any ransom to be paid to the pirates and we support the French government, which uses force, while taking on the pirates".[43]


Puntland has its own television channel and studios (SBC TV and ETN TV), as well as radio stations. Established in 2004, Radio Garowe is a community radio station based in Garowe, the capital of Puntland. The station broadcasts daily from Somalia on shortwave 89.8 FM, covering all the latest headlines in Somali news, politics and society. It also broadcasts other special programming on Garowe Online,[44] its online sister website.

LaasqorayNET is another privately-owned website based in Badhan, Bosaso, Dubai and London. The website features articles written in Somali and Arabic, but also publishes a few news items in English. In addition, the website hosts some audio, though the latter is not regularly updated.[45]

Radio Gaalkacyo is the state radio station formerly known as Radio Free Somalia.

XargagaOnline is the main news portal (mostly in Somali) for current events from the Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regions of Somalia.[46]

Horseed media was established by a group of Somali expatriates in the Netherlands and Finland. It became the first Somali radio station to stream its daily radio programs on the internet. Horseed currently has over 10,000 daily visitors to its website. It also has approximately 800,000 listeners on FM radio based in Bosaso, with a transmission of over 150 km2.[citation needed]

www.MogadishuPost.com is privately owned, head quarter in North America

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ministry of Planning and International Corporation
  2. ^ Society for International Development Forum
  3. ^ Puntland Information Minister assassinatedPress TV
  4. ^ Puntland Facts & Figures 2003
  5. ^ a b c Range Resources - Puntland
  6. ^ Dan Richardson, Egypt, (Rough Guides: 2003), p.404
  7. ^ Ian McMahan, Secrets of the Pharaohs, (HarperCollins: 1998), p.92
  8. ^ David B. O'Connor, Stephen Quirke, Quir O'Connor, Mysterious lands, (UCL Press: 2003), p.64
  9. ^ Local and Global Norms: Challenges to “Somaliland's” Unilateral Secession
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^ a b c d Mark Hawthorne (January 10, 2009). "La Trobe student takes on pirates". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/national/la-trobe-student-takes-on-pirates-20090109-7doq.html. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b c Mark Hawthorne (February 4, 2009). "You're not sacked, you've been realigned". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/business/youre-not-sacked-youve-been-realigned-20090203-7wud.html. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c d Alisha Ryu (15 January 2009). "New Puntland President Faces Stiff Challenges". Voice of America. http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2009-01/2009-01-15-voa51.cfm?CFID=321620226&CFTOKEN=30793966&jsessionid=883084e98f703091ce2f2662181372743851. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Militia attack on Puntland's MPs". BBC News. 27 February 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4755920.stm. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  18. ^ Yusuf Ali (Jan 11 2008). "Puntland president criticized for ineffective leadership". The Somaliland Times. http://www.somalilandtimes.net/sl/2008/312/21.shtml. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  19. ^ "From Heidelberg migrant to African president". http://diamond-valley-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/from-heidelberg-migrant-to-african-president/. 
  20. ^ "Puntland govt publishes First 100 Days in Office report". Garowe Online. April 30, 2009. http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Features_34/Somalia_Puntland_govt_publishes_First_100_Days_in_Office_report.shtml. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ [6]
  23. ^ [7]
  24. ^ [8]
  25. ^ Press Release: letter of introduction about new State in Somalia
  26. ^ Somalia
  27. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Education
  28. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Girls' education
  29. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Children's education
  30. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Rural education
  31. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Profile
  32. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Minister Profile
  33. ^ a b Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Education System
  34. ^ Puntland State of Somalia - Ministry of Education - Tertiary education
  35. ^ Basic education survey
  36. ^ Puntland Chamber of Commerce Business Guide - Industries and Agriculture
  37. ^ Abdillahi Yusuf’s Transitional ‎Government And Puntland Oil Deals (sic)
  38. ^ Oil and Mineral Exploration in Puntland, Somalia
  39. ^ CompanyMine information on African Oil Corp
  40. ^ [9]
  41. ^ Wallis, Daniel (2008-08-29). "Somali pirates a growing threat to shipping". Africa.Reuters.com (Reuters). http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnWAL915205.html. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  42. ^ a b "New pirate raids expose international efforts to secure trade routes". http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hP30tFOhJ1fWJGG2ytSaEhhuF1zQ. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  43. ^ [10]
  44. ^ Garowe Online
  45. ^ [11]
  46. ^ XargagaOnline

External links



Coordinates: 8°24′N 48°30′E / 8.4°N 48.5°E / 8.4; 48.5

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : East Africa : Somalia : Puntland
Travel Warning

WARNING: Like the rest of Somalia, Puntland is one of the most dangerous places in the world and is NOT a tourist destination

Puntland is a region in northeastern Somalia. It was recently declared an autonomous state, but does not desire complete independence from Somalia.

  • Garoowe. Puntland's capital city.
  • Bosaaso. Economy City of Puntland
  • Qardho. Historical Place and Capital of Education of Puntland.
  • Galkacyo. Home of the Current President of Somalia.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. a region of north-eastern Somalia.

Related terms

  • Land of Punt


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