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Somali federal government resumes development projects in Puntland amid political tensions

Tuesday June 11, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali federal government has restarted development projects in Puntland State after political tensions between the two sides affected several ongoing projects in Somalia.

Somali Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Mohamud Abdirahman (Benebene), stated on Monday that the Puntland administration had previously suspended the implementation of projects in their region but has now allowed them to resume.

"We are very excited to see the resumption of the Barwaaqo and Somalia Food System Resilience Project (SSRP) projects in Puntland, which signifies a renewed commitment to improving the livelihoods of our people. These projects are crucial for fostering sustainable development and ensuring a resilient future for all regions," stated Minister Benebene.

The Barwaaqo project, launched in January 2023, is a comprehensive water management and infrastructure development initiative. The Somalia Food Systems Resilience Project (SFSRP), launched in June 2023, also aims to strengthen food systems across the federal member states, ensuring food security and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

"The Federal Government of Somalia, under the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, is committed to depoliticizing humanitarian and development endeavours across the nation. We are dedicated to ensuring that these projects are implemented with utmost transparency and equity, reaching those in need without any political considerations," Minister Benebene added.

Barwaaqo and SFSRP were earmarked for all Federal Member States; however, Puntland State unilaterally halted their implementation, the federal government said.

However, a day ago, Puntland regional state leader Said Abdullahi Deni asked Somalia's international partners to establish a new mechanism enabling multilateral development banks to directly provide humanitarian support, development aid, and budget support to Puntland amid the increasing political conflict between Puntland and the federal government.

In a letter sent to the international community, President Deni accused the federal government of politicizing donor assistance and budgetary support intended for Puntland through multilateral development banks.

In March, the Puntland administration withdrew its recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia, demanding that changes to the Somali constitution be approved via a popular referendum. However, the political conflict between Puntland and the federal government existed before the constitutional amendments were approved.


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