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Somalia
Somalia: Mudug governor accuses Puntland opposition of ‘inciting instability’ in Galkayo

GALKAYO, Somalia Dec. 29, 2012 (Garowe Online) - A provincial governor in Somalia's Puntland autonomy has sent strong warning to opposition figures in Galkayo whom he accused of ‘inciting instability’, Garowe Online reports.

Mudug Governor Mohamed Yusuf Jama Tigey [file photo]
Mudug Governor Mohamed Yusuf Jama Tigey, accompanied by Galkayo Mayor Col. Said Abdi Farah, told a press conference in Galkayo on Saturday that "anti-peace groups" target community members due to "illegal weapons" entering the city.

Galkayo Mayor Said sent condolences to the families of Gabobe Aden Dalab a local community elder, whom the mayor said was "killed by people of injustice" on Friday night in Galkayo.

Mudug Governor Tigey said: "Mudug Regional Security Committee has voted to ban meetings that incite insecurity or political instability to be held in Galkayo and any group that violates this policy will be brought to justice."

Continuing, Tigey warned the Puntland public to be "vigilant about political figures who are job-seekers from the Diaspora, who took their children to safety in the West and want to create problems for our children here in Puntland,"  Tigey said,adding: “We do not know what the spoilers want or what they oppose. Opposition does not mean destroy Puntland and we will never accept this."

Puntland sources in Galkayo tell Garowe Online that Governor Tigey's comment refers to Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Gablah, a U.S. citizen who has rejected the ongoing democratization process in Puntland and has issued public threats against stability in Puntland.

On Sept. 29, 2012, Puntland Ministry of Information issued a press statement saying Mr. Gablah is "suspected of links to piracy criminals". Independent sources in Galkayo say Mr. Gablah is related to a notorious pirate financier, whom is believed to be funding Gablah's activities "aiming to give pirate criminals a political voice in Puntland", the independent sources add.

Under the leadership of President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, piracy criminals have been forced to flee coastal towns of Puntland, including Eyl, Gara'ad, Hafun, and Bargal since 2009. On Dec. 23, Puntland government forces safely rescued 22 hostages from six countries after 14 days of battling pirates near Gara'ad coastal town.

Puntland democratization process

Puntland traditional elders (Issimo) at Puntland Constituent Assembly in Garowe on April 18, 2012 [file photo]
The Mudug governor said that 35 traditional elders ( Issimo) and 480 delegates from across Puntland adopted the Puntland Constitution at a constituent assembly on April 18, 2012, held in the state capital ofGarowe and attended by Puntland civil society, TFG leaders and international diplomats. "Since April 18, Puntland has become a full state with a constitution and laws," Governor Tigey added.

Continuing, he said: “Every person in Puntland has the right to vote and to be elected. The opposition should declare political parties and compete in upcoming elections. But if the opposition issues threats against public safety and stability, Puntland government will never tolerate any form of insecurity.”

Developments in Galkayo

Speaking about the situation in Galkayo, Governor Tigey said: “Puntland government has invested massively for the last six months to drastically improve security here in Galkayo. We have a campaign motto of 'Mudug Yesterday and Mudug Today'. There are ongoing projects, such as Galkayo-Galdogob road and Galkayo-Gara’ad road, and USAID projects currently underway in Mudug region because of the improving security situation. So-called opposition did not contribute to the peace and development projects here in Mudug region and across Puntland."

Governor Tigey warned about insecurity, saying: "The fact that now a community elder is killed is made easier by illegal weapons in Galkayo. Puntland government forces are capable of securing the state and Puntland government will not tolerate illegal weapons inside our cities and towns."

Continuing, Governor Tigey said: "President Farole came to power through an election and will transfer power after an election, like his predecessor President Adde Muse. Speaking to university students last week in Bossaso, President Farole said ‘we are preparing Puntland for the youth to lead’. We encourage opposition figures to declare political parties and to compete democratically against the current government."

Since Sept. 11, when the Puntland Electoral Commission declared that political associations can be legally registered in Puntland, seven political associations have been declared, including Horseed political association led by President  Farole.

The political associations are expected to compete in local elections slated for May 2013, and the three political associations with most votes in the local elections will become the three official political parties of Puntland, according to the Puntland constitution.

Puntland Constitution was adopted on April 18, 2012 , by a 480-member Puntland Constituent Assembly, nominated by Puntland traditional elders (Issimo) who also nominated Puntland delegates to the National Constituent Assembly that adopted the Somali Federal Constitution on August 1, 2012.

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