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By Ismail Warsame
Opinion Columnist

Puntland opposition elements and most titled elders couldn’t differentiate between the dislike they have for the State President of the day and significance of Puntland 3rd ANNIVERSARY. A group of traditional elders led by the Late Islaan Mohamed Islaan Muse opposing State President, Abdullahi Yusuf, had rebelled against holding the 3rd Anniversary of Puntland establishment as the first pillar of Federal Somalia. Their issue wasn’t against the State per se, but they had resisted holding the ceremony due to their opposition to the President at the time in the backdrop of a constitutional crisis. The incident alarmed people of Puntland that the modest achievements by then the new regional state were down the drain. This incident was also one of ugliest and toughest times in Puntland short history of statehood.

The Late Islaan Mohamed summoned the so-called “Kabo-Silik” (Boot-wired men), armed countryside youth, to Garowe City and ordered them to dismantle ceremonial decorations and facilities in Garowe Central Square unofficially known “Ciise Ku Caroh” (Issa’s Anger Square.) To avoid unnecessary loss of lives and to descalate the tension in town, Puntland Government abandoned the idea of marking the Day.

This history of Puntland State is closely linked to the conspiracies against Puntland by President Ismail Omar Ghueleh of Djibouti, Issayes Afewark of Eritrea and Abdulqasim Salad Hassan (Ina Salad Boy)/Ali Khalif Galaydh of Djibouti- sponsored Transitional National Government of Somalia (TNG.)

Those political developments eventually led to the brief collapse of Puntland Government. It was towards the end of year 2002 that Puntland Government was able to reinstate itself in an operation called “Restore Puntland Stability”.

Here is the record of what was happening then:

  • On BBC Focus On Africa with Robin White
  • Reposted in:
  • 19 May 2007 04:15
    The port town of Bosaso in the Somali region of Puntland has today fallen to forces loyal to Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed. The fall of this economically important town follows two days of fierce fighting between colonel Abdullahi and forces loyal to Jama Ali Jama, his rival for leadership of Puntland. From Mogadishu, our Correspondent, Hassan Barisse, emailed this report:
     Hassan Barisse: The forces of Colonel Yussuf captured Bosaso without any resistance at about 8 AM local time. The whereabouts of Jama Ali Jama is not known. But sources close to his aides say he left Bosaso to Qardho town yesterday afternoon by road to Iskushuban District about 160 km east to Bosaso from where he is reported to have taken a plane to an undisclosed destination. Some of Jama’s supporters insist that he is still in Qardho town, but that sounds unlikely. Colonel Yussuf himself reached Bosaso town at about 11.30 AM local time and immediately went to the Presidential building in the town were he started receiving elders, religious scholars and women’s groups, all of whom congratulated him on his victory. Ugas Hassan, one of the main traditional leaders of Puntland told me today in a telephone interview from Bosaso that the arrival of Colonel Yussuf followed a meeting between elders, Muslim scholars and politicians from Bosaso with Colonel Yussuf himself in Kalabayr District, some 60 km south of the town. According to Ugas Hassan, the elders and politicians asked Colonel Yussuf to respect the peace and that if he wants to come to Bosaso town, he could do so without fighting. All day yesterday and last night, the local FM radio in the town has been broadcasting messages from the Commander of the Police Forces in Bosaso, Colonel Jaatta (as heard) telling the people they should remain calm. Many people understood from that message the whole thing was a set-up between the elders, the Police and Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf. Supporters of Jama Ali Jama had characterized the capture of Bosaso as a Coup d’ Grace and a plot masterminded by Ethiopia.
    RACHAEL AKIDI: That emailed report from our Correspondent, Hassan Barrise in Mogadishu. Well, Ismail Warsame is a spokesman for Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed. Robin White asked him what the situation was. Ismail Haji Warsame: Well, the city welcomed Abdullahi Yussuf. There was not a single bullet fired today. Traditional elders, intellectuals, women’s group and the rest of the residents of Bosaso have met Abdullahi Yussuf at the gate of Bosaso to welcome and escort to the Presidential palace today.
     Robin White: eeeee, will he stay there?
    IHW: Yes, he will be there for quite a while as far as I know.
    Robin White: Did the Ethiopian troops help him in the capture of Bosaso?
    IHW: Absolutely nonsense.
    Robin White: There is no single Ethiopian soldier in Puntland proper.
    Robin White: Did the Ethiopians encourage you to take Bosaso?
    IHW: Not at all. Not at all. In fact the Ethiopian State were trying to mediate between Abdullahi Yussuf and his rival. Unfortunately, Jama Ali Jama refused to even sit with Abdullahi Yussuf in Addis Ababa recently.
    Robin White: So, what happens here? Is there any chance of reconciliation?
    IHW: With whom to reconcile? President Abdullahi Yussuf is trying to restore Law&Order. There is no fighting in Bosaso. There is no armed opposition against him. There was little resistance on the part of Jama Ali Jama. He has no grass roots support. That is why Abdullahi Yussuf is in Bosaso without even a fight.
    Robin White: Now, what is gona happen to your relations with the GOVERNMENT in Mogadishu? Clearly, they supported Jama Ali Jama and not you. So are relations going to   be really extremely bad between you and the Mogadishu GOVERNMENT?
    IHW: There is no Government in Mog that we recognize. We know there is ARTA Faction which controls less than 2 streets in Mog, enforced by Djibouti. So, what Government are you talking about? 
    Robin White: So, are you now working for the overthrow of the Mogadishu GOVERNMENT?
    IHW: We are working towards national reconciliation.
    Robin White: Does that mean trying to overthrow the GOVERNMENT in Mogadishu or the INTERIM GOVERNMENT?
    IHW: There is no government to overthrow. There is a faction.
    Robin White: So, will you try to drive out this, eee FACTION, as you call it!
    Robin White: It is not our obligation to overthrow a faction in Somalia. We will welcome that faction to talk to us.
    RACHAEL AKIDI: Ismail Warsame, spoksperson for Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf   

    Garowe, May 08,2002 To:  United Nations Organization, Nairobi, Kenya, European Commission, Nairobi, Kenya International Non-Governmental organizations, Pl, Kenya   Cc: All Government departments of Puntland State of Somalia, From: Hassan Ahmed Jama, Director-General, Ministry for International Cooperation & Planning  Garowe, Pl.
  • Subject: OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION This is to advise the staff of UN, EC and INGOs accredited in Puntland State of Somalia, who had been evacuated from Bosaso yesterday, to stay away from Puntland State of Somalia until further notice. This decision has been reached on the basis of the Operation Puntland Stability First and the fact that the decision to evacuate the staff of the above-named organizations from Bosaso had neither been coordinated with nor communicated to the legitimate authorities of the State.  In addition, some of these organizations have been engaged in activities incompatible with their stated mission objectives. Finally, this office advises the Heads of these organizations, who traditionally operate from Nairobi, Kenya, to reconsider or reschedule any planned mission to Puntland State until further notification by this Office to the contrary.
    GALKAYO, MAY 07,2002 BREAKING NEWS: PEACEFUL RETURN OF ABDULLAHI YUSUF TO THE PORT CITY OF BOSASO.Elders, prominent personalities, intellectuals, women groups and regional authorities of bosaso came out this afternoon to greet Abdullahi Yusuf at gate of the city. Bosaso therefore sees the peaceful return of country’s legitimate President. Residents of Bosaso are now lining along the streets of the city to welcome this peaceful return of the President and to witness such an important event. Governor of the Bosaso City declares the end of the coup attempt by Al Itihad and that the destabilising elements of the city had fled away before the arrival of the President in Bosaso this afternoon. Ismail H. Warsame, Chief of CabinetGalkayo, May 7,2002 BREAKING NEWS ON PUNTLAND STABILITY FIRST This is to inform the news media that forces of Puntland State had brief but intensive battle with forces of Al Itihad inside the City of Qardho this morning. This fighting follows the refusal of the members of Al Itihad armed groups to accept the advice of Qardho elders to lay down their arms and let H.E. Abdullahi Yusuf pass through peacefully in his determined bid to restore Law & order in the country. Subsequently, combat groups of Al Itihad have been crushed in Qardho and the forces of President Abdullahi Yusuf passed through the city on their way to bosaso. In another development, Jama Ali Jama, accompanied by a few of his personal body-guards, had fled eastward to his hometown of Bayla, where he is expected to be airlifted by either Arta Faction or Djibouti.  Moreover, political supporters of Jama A. Jama were reported to be fleeing Bosaso in all directions and overseas.Please stay tuned for further development of invents. Ismail H. WarsameChief of Cabinet——————-Published by SomaliawatchPosted 26th December 2012 by Ismail Warsame Blog


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