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Somalia Civil War - Puntland

While Puntland, with a population of 2.285 million (2016 estimate), aspires to be part of a federal Somalia, it can be argued that its relative success in maintaining stability has in large part been due to its homogeneity and also its de facto separation from the political developments of South-Central Somalia, for which Puntland’s progress towards peace and democracy can serve as valuable lessons.

Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region cut ties with the central government on August 12, 2014 after it learned of a plan to form a new federal state in the center of the country that would allegedly include part of the Puntland region. In July 2014, the Somali federal government and representatives from the central regions of Galgudud and Mudug signed a document that said the region's leaders would work together to form a new administration.

Puntland is an area in the northeastern part of Somalia and is composed of the Bari, Nugal, Mudug, Sanaag, Sool, Ayn, and Karkaar regions. Leaders in the northeast proclaimed the formation of the "Puntland" state in July 1998, after a conference was held in Garowe attended by delegates and observers from the Bari, Nugal, Sool and Sanaag regions. The conference ended by formulating a new "social contract" as a basis for the restoration of effective state authority in these regions. In contrast to Somaliland, however, Puntland has never considered itself a separate entity. Although the Puntland's leader publicly announced that he did not plan to break away from the remainder of the country, suspicions lingered.

Puntland is a stable region in northeastern Somalia with a surface land comprising one-third of Somalia and close to half of the country’s coastline. Approximately 3 million people live and work in Puntland, which disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool and Sanaag.

Puntland eventually wants to join a genuine Federal Republic of Somalia. Tension persists between Somaliland and Puntland over the Sool and Sanaag regions, which are claimed by both.

According to an old obscure tradition, the land of Punt was the original abode of the gods. From Punt the celestial beings had travelled to the Nile valley; at their head Amon, Horus, Hathor. The coast land, washed by the Eed Sea as far as Punt, was sanctified by the passage of the gods, and its name, 'the land of the gods' (Ta-nuter), shows of itself a trace of the tradition. Amon is called Haq, that is, 'King' of Punt; Hathor, in the same sense, 'Queen and ruler of Punt;' while Hor was honoured as 'the holy morning star which rises to the west of the land of Punt.' Peculiar to that land is the idol Bes, the oldest form of the deity in the land of Punt.

Although pre-colonial Somalian society did not have a national government with modern structures and clearly defined international borders, the northeast region had traditional structures of government dating from the early years of the 19 th century; namely, the Sultanate of Majerteen (1901–1927), whose territory included the current regions of Bari and Nugal, the Sultanate of Mudug/Hobyo (1885–1925) and the Sultanate of eastern Sanaag (1896–1925).

These Sultanates were relatively under-developed and far from achieving a modern status in terms of political and state management systems. They had administrative and military structures, which safeguarded security, social welfare and political stability until these were disrupted by colonial powers; the Italians in the first two Sultanates and the British in the third one. Trade and commercial relations existed between the Sultanates and the Indian sub-continent and Arabian Gulf states. For instance, ad valorem taxation systems, export of livestock, animal and agro-forestry products and import of consumer goods thrived in the Sultanate of Majerteen during the second half of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th century.

The Italian and British conquest of the Sultanate in (1923-1927) suppressed the peoples’ resistance and destroyed all political, economic and commercial structures. The Italian fascist authorities were more repressive than the British, as reflected by the economic policies they applied to these regions.

Puntland has an area of 212,510 square km. Of its population, 65 percent are nomadic pastoralists. Split equally between male and female, the population is likely among the youngest in the world, and the population growth rate was estimated at 3.14 percent in 2004. Over recent years, there has been a discernible movement of populations towards towns and cities, with villages growing into towns, and towns becoming cities.

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Page last modified: 12-09-2018 18:54:16 ZULU