What?! Former finance minister and THREE other politicians wanted in Puntland state crisis?!

It is with great bewilderment and confusion that we report on the recent developments in Puntland, Somalia, which have thrown the region into a state of turmoil. As of Thursday, May 18, 2023, authorities in Puntland have issued arrest warrants for four political figures, including former Finance Minister Hassan Shire Abgaal. This follows a violent clash in Garowe earlier this week, in which two soldiers tragically lost their lives. The situation has only exacerbated existing tensions in the region.

The other individuals sought by authorities are Khadar Abdirahman Faroole, the Somali Presidential envoy overseeing economic affairs, and politicians Mohamud Shiddo and Mohamed Jama Farah (Laysar). However, Khadar Abdirahman Mohamed, Special Envoy for International Trade and Investment for the Somali President, has vehemently denied any involvement in the violence, in response to accusations made by Puntland’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdi Farah Juha, who claimed that Mohamed and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud were behind the attack.

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The situation in Puntland has been further complicated by the upcoming local council elections scheduled for May 25, 2023. The elections have been shrouded in controversy, with allegations of election mismanagement and fraudulent practices levelled against current Puntland President, Said Abdullahi Deni. These accusations have led to several key figures, including former Puntland Presidents Abdirahman Faroole and Abdiwali Gas, boycotting the election.

The unfolding crisis has prompted Ahmed Isse Awad, former Somali Foreign Affairs Minister, to warn of the risk of a full-blown political crisis and to call for peaceful conflict resolution. Meanwhile, several airlines have suspended flights to Garowe following Monday’s deadly clash between Puntland forces and tribal militias near the airport, which resulted in the deaths of three navy soldiers and around ten others injured.

As the situation continues to escalate, the future stability of Puntland hangs in the balance, and we can only hope that peaceful resolutions can be found before any further violence occurs.

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