BOSSASO, Somalia Nov 2 (Garowe Online) -
The security minister in Somalia's northeastern state of Puntland has ordered a halt to all withdrawals from the government's bank, sources told Garowe Online.
Gen. Abdullahi Said Samatar, the Puntland security minister, issued a directive to the bank's armed guards not to allow money to be taken out of the bank "until further notice," the sources added.
However, the bank's officials and security guards were instructed to allow deposits.
It is not clear why Puntland's top security official issued the halt, but the order comes on the day when presidential elections were allowed to officially begin.
Mr. Abdirahman Farole, the Puntland opposition leader, called on the regional authority to prohibit government officials like President Adde Muse from using public funds to finance the election campaign.
Puntland is scheduled to hold presidential elections in January 2009.
The Puntland regional authority does not receive any financial support from the international community, like the UN and the EU, to hold democratic elections next year.
However, the neighboring sub-state of Somaliland receives millions of dollars in aid to hold democratic elections, a development many critics say shows the international community's imbalance in Somali democracy processes.
Somalia: Voter-registration halted after Somaliland terror attacks
Source: Garowe Online