Puntland urges international community to address politicization of aid in Somalia

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GAROWE, Somalia (KAAB TV) – In a compelling letter addressed to a broad array of international stakeholders, the President of Puntland State of Somalia, Said Abdullahi Deni, has expressed grave concerns over the increasing politicization of donor assistance and budgetary support in Somalia.

The communication, directed at countries including the USA, UK, and members of the European Union, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, underscores a plea for a more equitable distribution of aid resources.

The letter, dated June 9, 2024, highlights a troubling trend where Mogadishu is alleged to be utilizing donor aid for politically motivated agendas. President Deni emphasizes that this practice has been particularly pronounced since his re-election, affecting earmarked projects and budgetary support intended for Puntland.

“I am writing to express deep concern over Mogadishu’s increasing politicization of donor assistance and grant budgetary support,” Deni states, pointing out that such actions undermine the core purpose of development assistance, which should aim to “improve the lives of our citizens and foster sustainable progress, not to advance narrow political interests.”

Deni’s letter calls attention to the negative impacts of this politicization, noting that it disregards the constitutional mandate and overlooks the fragile state of the nation, potentially jeopardizing Somalia’s stability and unity. He advocates for the establishment of an alternative mechanism that would enable multilateral development banks to provide direct aid and support, free from political interference by Mogadishu.

“In light of this critical situation, we appeal to our bilateral and multilateral partners to recognize the gravity of this situation and to provide their support in ensuring that the Puntland State receives the necessary donor assistance and grant budgetary support, free from Mogadishu’s politicization,” the letter reads.

The President also highlighted Puntland’s efforts to engage constructively with the multilateral development banks and Mogadishu to resolve outstanding issues. Despite these efforts, he notes, there has been little success, with Mogadishu allegedly initiating a campaign of disinformation and misinformation against Puntland.

The ongoing stalemate between Puntland leadership and Mogadishu has continued since May 2022, but tensions rose following Deni’s re-election in early 2024. Additionally, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia has been alleged to have unilaterally changed the constitution, a move opposed by Puntland and other stakeholders.

Moreover, Deni reaffirmed Puntland’s commitment to good governance, fiscal responsibility, and effective use of development resources. He called on international partners to support Puntland in building a more prosperous state and contribute to the overall peace and stability of Somalia.

“I urge you to use the influence of your office to safeguard democracy, uphold the rule of law, and promote peace throughout Somalia,” Deni concludes, appealing for urgent attention to this pressing issue.

The letter is seen as a significant move in addressing the challenges of aid distribution in Somalia, aiming to ensure that development assistance reaches those in need without being hampered by political agendas.

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