Somalia: Escalation of Violence Triggered by Outgoing Puntland President


GAROWE, Somalia – The Puntland Opposition Union (“the Union”) is committed to upholding the stability and laws that formed the foundation of Puntland State.

The Union sees President Said Abdullahi Deni’s recent speech at the transfer of power ceremony for the new Commander of Puntland Defense Force (Darawish Force) as a clear indication of his intention to incite violence in Puntland and use government forces to extend his term.

In his speech, the President openly stated that it is normal to stay in power for a long time, citing an example from a neighboring country, which goes against Article 79 of the Puntland State Constitution.

In the past, the President, whose term is ending, has instigated armed violence and conflicts in Puntland, resulting in casualties, injuries, displacement, and property damage in Bossaso, Galkayo, and Garowe.

These conflicts have damaged Puntland’s reputation, divided its government security forces, and created political uncertainty and insecurity. Unfortunately, the President has taken responsibility for these acts of armed conflicts, claiming that he was strengthening governance.

The Union emphasizes that Said Abdullahi Deni will be fully responsible for any conflicts that occur in Puntland, and he should be held accountable, along with anyone supporting his violent ambitions.


The Union appeals to Traditional Leaders, religious figures, the business community, civil society organizations, and the general public of Puntland to come together to prevent the President, whose term is ending, from provoking violence. We must protect and preserve the people and the State of Puntland.

Lastly, the Union calls on international partners to observe President Said Abdullahi Deni’s provocative actions and advise him to prioritize political stability, engage in constructive dialogue with opposition groups, and immediately cease all ongoing provocative actions.

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