Somalia: Renewed Violent Provocations led by Puntland President whose Mandate is Ending


GAROWE, Somalia - The Puntland Opposition Union (“the Union”) stands for preserving the stability and laws upon which Puntland State was founded.

The Union views the speech by the President whose mandate is ending, Said Abdullahi Deni, at the ceremony for the transfer of power to the new Commander of Puntland Defense Force (Darawish Force), which occurred at 54th Army Base on 29/10/2023, as indicative of how Said Abdullahi Deni is intending to spark renewed violence in Puntland and plans to use government forces to implement his term-extension ambition.

The President clearly stated in his speech that staying in power for a long time is normal and he cited an example in one of Somalia’s neighboring countries, which is an idea that is contrary and directly violates the Puntland State Constitution’s Article 79.

The President whose mandate is ending has previously instigated armed violence and conflicts in Puntland which led to deaths, injuries, displacement, and property destruction in Bossaso, Galkayo, and Garowe.

The outcome of those conflicts was a major decline in the reputation of Puntland, dividing Puntland government security forces, and political uncertainty and risk of insecurity which is a new stage that Puntland has now entered. Unfortunately, the President claimed responsibility for those above-cited acts of armed conflicts and claimed he was strengthening governance.

The Union again reiterates that Said Abdullahi Deni shall bear full and complete responsibility for any conflict that occurs in Puntland and that he shall be held accountable along with anyone who aids him in his ambition of violence.


The Union stands to uphold and preserve the principles articulated in the Puntland State Constitution, namely: Article 2, Clause 1 – 2; Article 58; Article 86; and, Article 128, Clause 1, all of which are constitutional provisions that relate to the supremacy of the law, equality under the law, separation of powers, and, neutrality of state forces and force commanders in political matters. The Union appealed to the Puntland government’s force commanders to uphold the law and to preserve the positive reputation and legacy renowned for the state forces.

The Union appeals to the Traditional Leaders, religious figures, the business community, civil society organizations, and the general public of Puntland, to unite to prevent the provocations of violence spearheaded by the President whose mandate is ending, Said Abdullahi Deni, and to
help protect and preserve the people and the State of Puntland.

Finally, the Union calls upon the international partners to bear witness to the President whose mandate is ending, Said Abdullahi Deni, and the provocative actions he is embarking upon and to advise President Deni to preserve political stability, to engage in constructive dialogue
with opposition groups and to immediately stop all provocative actions currently underway.

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