Somalia: Puntland rejects “baseless” claims of insecurity and political uproar
GAROWE, Puntland - A London-based TV channel has been put on notice by the Puntland government over alleged misreporting on alleged insecurity and intimidation against local politicians and journalists, Garowe Online reports.
In a recent program dubbed “Public Opinion”, Universal TV accused President Deni of rejecting 'accountability' besides claiming that Somalia's North-Eastern state is now struggling with 'political instability and insecurity'.
But in a rejoinder on Monday, Puntland Information Minister, Ali Hassan Sabarey dismissed the assertions as “pure fiction, baseless and motivated” saying under Deni’s leadership, liberalism has been embraced by the government.
The Minister further insisted that freedom of speech has been guaranteed, adding that the Somali Federal Member State does not have political and journalist detainees.
"There are no journalists and politicians intimidated or detained in Puntland," he emphasized. "It's a clear lie," added Sabarey, the president is currently on a regional tour, reaching out to the people to listen to their concerns.
"What we have in common with us is kept alive by us. We say the TV, check out all your facts about Puntland before you rush to the air," he said “President Deni's administration is most 'transparent and accountable'.
For decades since its establishment in 1998, the oil-rich Puntland State has been experiencing relative political and economic stability, avoiding the bloody conflict compared to other regions in Somalia.
"We are not talking to one person [the reporter], the TV has people, we are telling them that what he is saying is not correct," the minister told reporters on Monday.
Puntland has in the recent past projected positive economic growth due to political stability. The state is one of the most stable regions within war-torn Somalia.
President Deni recently hosted the Chinese ambassador along with United Nations envoy to Somalia James Swan, another indication of confidence from international partners.
Buoyed by its own army and other security teams, the Puntland government has managed to put Al-Shabaab and Islamic State-affiliated militants at bay for years now.
However, a report by the US's Africa Command released last week, warned that ISIS-Somalia could destabilize the region. The militants, who are also at war with Al-Shabaab, are based in the Golis Mountains.