Somalia: Puntland Civil Servants Face Financial Hardship as Outgoing President Diverts Salaries
GAROWE, Somalia | Garowe Online has learned that civil servants in Puntland, a federal member state of Somalia located in the north eastern of the country, have not been paid for five months due to outgoing President Said Abdullahi Deni's diversion of funds. According to sources, Deni used the salaries of civil servants to fund his controversial voter registration campaign for local elections and his reelection campaign in the January 2024 presidential vote.
The move has caused hardship for families who rely on these salaries to support themselves, especially during the holy month of Ramadan when living costs are typically high. It has also highlighted the political and economic turmoil that Puntland is currently facing.
An insider revealed that Deni has a two-part plan that includes implementing his political goals and selecting his favorite Members of Parliament who will vote for him if Puntland returns to the old system where 66 lawmakers elect the President.
Deni's frequent foreign trips, including to the United Arab Emirates, amidst the crisis in Puntland have raised concerns about his leadership. The state is facing a range of challenges, including security issues, economic hardships, and political and electoral stalemates, which are only exacerbated by the diversion of funds meant for civil servant salaries.
The situation in Puntland is indicative of a broader trend in Somalia, where political and economic instability has been the norm for decades. The country has been plagued by conflict and civil war, which has resulted in the displacement of millions of people and created a humanitarian crisis.
While there have been some positive developments in Somalia, such as the election of a new President in 2022 and the successful operations against Al Shabaab, much work remains to be done to address the underlying issues that have contributed to the country's instability.