Somalia: Puntland President unexpectedly jets off to UAE


BOSASO, Puntland- The President of semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Abdiwali Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has traveled yesterday to the United Arab Emirates after attending the state funeral for late former Puntland President, Garowe Online reports.

A delegate led by President Ali was reported to reach UAE and is expected to hold several meetings during their unannounced trip. However, the State House has not released a statement in relation to purpose of the trip or planned meetings with UAE officials.

Earlier, Puntland President along with officials from Somali Federal government including outgoing Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke have attended the state funeral for late former Puntland President Mahmoud Muse Hirsi in Bosaso city on Tuesday, before departing on the next day.

Ali was criticized for frequent foreign trips amid failed policies by his administration to tackle insecurity and drought crisis in the region. Ali’s continuous trips were reported to have placed huge burden on cash-strapped Puntland government that failed to pay salaries of civil servants and troops for over 8 months.

Pundits revealed that the sudden trip could be in connection to the political transition in Somalia with the election of a new President Mohamed Abdulahi Farmajo last week.

Ali along with state Parliament leadership were present in the capital Mogadishu in the past weeks to back the presidential campaign of an allied candidate, but lost miserably in the ballot to President Farmajo.