UN Special Representative expresses concerns over Somalia’s fragile unity amid Puntland’s autonomy declaration


GAROWE (KAAB TV) – UN Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing, voiced deep concerns over the unfolding situation in Somalia during her visit to Puntland State.

Just a day after Puntland declared its autonomy from the rest of the country, Laing emphasized the precarious future Somalia faces.

In a joint press briefing with the President of Puntland in Garowe, Laing stressed the importance of full and inclusive participation from all regions, including Puntland, for Somalia to progress.

“The country, which has so much potential and can’t move forward without the full and inclusive participation of Puntland,” adds Catriona Laing during joint press briefing she held alongside the President of Puntland in Garowe.

Ambassador Laing’s comments came as Somalis express concern about the potential risk of renewed violence in the Horn of Africa region due to the fragmentation in Somalia and lack of consensus.

The situation escalated further when the Somali federal parliament announced amendments to the country’s federal constitution, granting more powers to the ethnic Hawiye President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and shifting towards a controversial presidential system.

In response, Puntland, a key region in the northeast, declared itself a completely independent state, refusing to recognize the federal government or President Mohamud.

Addressing these developments, Laing emphasized the need for an inclusive constitutional process that respects the autonomy of individual federal member states.

“…dialogue can continue with the federal government to ensure that there is an inclusive process and the whole country can come together to ensure that eventually the constitution at the federal level defines and ensures that the individual federal member states have their autonomy within that and can play their part,” added Catriona Laing.

She acknowledged Puntland’s concerns regarding the amendments and stressed the importance of a transparent and participatory process for the entire country.

As tensions rise and Somalia’s unity hangs in the balance, the international community is also missing an opportunity to intervene and ensure a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis.

On Sunday, a joint statement issued by members of the international community failed to adequately address the deepening crisis stemming from Somalia’s constitutional amendments.

The statement garnered minimal significance in light of the escalating situation, drawing criticism from various quarters within Somalia, including civil society groups.

La Xiriira

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Baraheenna Bulshada


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